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Weight Loss News - Week in Review April 3, 2010


LAP-BAND Blog's companion, Weight Loss News provides weight loss tips.If you haven't checked out this blog's companion blog, Weight Loss News, be sure to visit it for the the latest news about weight loss tips, studies and surgeries.

This week was a busy week for Weight Loss News, with seven articles ranging from a patient story to news about studies on high-fructose corn syrup leading to faster weight gain than traditional sugar. Take a look:

I regularly update Weight Loss News whenever I come across a news item or story that might be interesting or helpful. If you use an RSS reader, you can subscribe to its feed separately. And don't forget that Weight Loss Surgical Center's Weight Loss blog has its own RSS Feed.

Also, you'll note one one of my commentary items, I left a comment link, if you'd like to share your thoughts on the topic. The Weight Loss News page has comment links for each item, and it also allows you to vote an article up if you like it or down if you don't. Popular posts will stay higher longer with your participation.

Adjustable Gastric Banding Basics

Adjustable gastric banding is not an absolute cure for obesity, but it is a powerful tool for weight loss. Here's how:

1. Proper band placement by a qualified surgeon. At Weight Loss Surgical Center, we have three surgeons on staff who specialize in gastric bands and have successfully placed hundreds of gastric bands. The procedure is normally out-patient with nine out of 10 of our patients leaving the surgery center the same days as their gastric band surgery.

2.   Long-term diet is crucial for an adjustable gastric banding patient to be successful. Remember that the surgeon and surgery are just the first step, and there are many more important steps, especially concerning your diet, along your weight loss journey.

This is why we have so many people, throughout the Midwest, dedicated to your weight loss success. Some key things about diet they will teach you are to:

a. Eat 50-60% protein, followed by fruits and vegetables

b. Chew thoroughly, with small bites, until it is almost liquefied and to eat meals slowly

c. Do not drink any liquid with your meals or for 45 minutes after a meal

d. Eat three meals a day, especially breakfast

e. Avoid foods that crumble or slip through the band easily

f. Focus on high-nutrient foods packed with vitamins and minerals

3.   Follow-up regularly with our local adjustable gastric band care providers. We have medical providers in Overland Park, Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; Independence, Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City North (coming soon), MissouriDes Moines, Iowa; and Omaha, Nebraska, to help patients learn to use their new weight loss tool effectively.

Generally, we recommend an adjustable gastric band follow-up schedule along these guidelines:

a. Post-op visit one week after surgery to check incisions, etc.

b. First gastric band fill, 4 weeks after surgery.

c. Subsequent fills every 2-3 weeks as instructed by your provider until you hit your sweet spot. Weight Loss Surgical has pioneered new techniques to hit your sweet spot sooner.

d. Quarterly follow-up for two years after hitting your sweet spot

4. Exercise to burn more calories than you take in. Walk 30 minutes daily, use an elliptical machine, stationary bicycle or swim. Start slow, and increase the length and intensity of your workouts as your body adjusts to exercising.

Adjustable gastric banding risks 

As with any surgery, there are some potential risks with adjustable gastric banding, though it is the safest weight loss surgery currently available. Be sure to read your band manufacturer's information and talk to your surgeon about the adjustable gastric band of your choice before making a final decision about surgery.

Health improvements 

83% of people with type II diabetes can successfully get off prescription medications, under the direction of their primary care physician, once they lose weight with the band.

66% of people with high blood pressure can successfully get off prescription medications once they lose weight with the band, and the remaining 34% can usually have their medications reduced. Patients should reduce their medications only under the guidance of their primary care physician.

New studies on adjustable gastric banding are regularly released and have found improvements to other health conditions, including sleep apneaGERD and asthma.

Could Adjustable Gastric Banding Patients get help from a Mandometer?


Our adjustable gastric banding patients are taught early on that one of the keys to weight loss success - with or without an adjustable gastric band - is to slow down during meals. Eat smaller bites. Put your fork down between bites. Chew thoroughly. 

Now here's something that's supposed to help you slow down your meal: a dinner plate that chides you when you eat too fast. It also asks you to input information about how full you feel as you eat, and it references normal eating habits to compare to your own.

It's called a Mandometer, and it's supposed to help train people to eat slower so they will feel satiated sooner and eat less, thereby losing weight.

And it's not as crazy as it sounds at first blush. They have research to back it up. An 18-month study, published in the British Medical Journal by researchers at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, tested 106 obese children, aged nine to 17. Some had a mandometer, others had more traditional weight control tools, and all were encouraged to excercise.

A year into the study, the Body Mass Indexes (BMI) of the kids using the Mandometer dropped about 2.1% - three times more than the non-Mandometer group. After another half year, the results had held.

I tried to find some pricing or customer reviews for the product, but it does not seem to be available on the mass market. A little Google research came back with information about clinics that regularly use the tool to treat eating disorders, so it looks like you'd have to pay one of those docs a visit instead of surfing over to Amazon.

Cancer Risk: Another Reason for Adjustable Gastric Banding?


A December 26 study in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that restricted calorie diets - a primary feature of adjustable gastric banding - help human cells live longer by restricting the amount of glucose they are exposed to.

The study was a lab study on lung cells - some healthy and some precancerous. The cells were exposed to different levels of glucose and examined over a period of weeks for signs of health, such as cell division and life.

The interesting thing is that the precancerous cells that recieved lower amounts of glucose were more likely to die, which could indicate that lower calorie, thus lower glucose diets could help prevent some forms of cancer.

We have also known for some time that obese individuals had higher risk of cancers of the breast, endometrium (the uteral lining), colon, kidney, and esophagus. This study does not link its findings to any of these cancers specifically, but we already know that losing weight through physical excercise and calorie restriction, as occurs after a LAP-BAND Surgery, helps to reduce these risks.

Added to the list of other diseases that are improved with weight loss through adjustable gastric banding, and anyone considering the LAP-BAND or REALIZE Band has some pretty good health reasons to do so:

If you are considering a serious, proven medical method for weight loss, download our free LAP-BAND materials to learn more about the surgery and how it can help you improve your health.


Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (2009, December 26). Calorie restriction: Scientists take important step toward 'fountain of youth'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 15, 2010, from

LAP-BAND Procedure Offers Hope, Genetic Causes for Obesity Fade Away


Even while LAP-BAND Patients lose significant amounts of weight as each week passes, the research behind the underlying causes of obesity seems to change just as quickly. A new study due out next month suggests that genetics may not be as important a contributer to obesity as previously thought.

The study, "Cumulative effects and predictive value of common obesity-susceptibility variants identified by genome-wide association studies" appears in the January 2010 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Claude Bouchard from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., said in a recent article on the study that changing social and physical environments that encourage consumption and discourages energy expenditure likely play a larger part in the obesity epidemic than genetics do.

The study found that the genetic influences combined explained only .9 percent of BMI variations.

That likely dashes hopes for any significant sort of genetic treatment for obesity and puts the emphasis back squarely on diet and exercise.

The LAP-BAND Procedure, which has helped thousands of people lose weight, regardless of the genetic predispositions, is a powerful tool for weight loss that helps people control their diet.

It does so by restricting the flow of food into the lower part of a person's stomach, so he or she feels fuller longer, on a substantially smaller amount of food.

If you would like to learn more about the LAP-BAND Procedure and how it can help you lose weight, register for our library of free LAP-BAND Information to get started.

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Eating after weight loss surgery: watch the holidays and the weekends


Whether you've had weight loss surgery or not, your diet is the key to losing weight, though most people - even those with gastric bands - allow themselves cheat days on the holidays. And sometimes the weekends.

And sometimes every weekend.

Weight Loss Surgery prevents eating too many calories.That may sound familiar to you, and researchers from University of Pittsburgh and Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., are looking into how allowing yourself to take the weekend off from your regular diet rules might have an impact on your weight.

What they found should really not be a surprise to most of us: people did not eat right on holidays or the weekends. They ate more than they should, with higher calories consumed.

While this study does not discuss people with gastric band surgery or other weight loss surgery, it does stand to reason that gastric band patients would likely consume smaller quantities and fewer calories than your average person.

But even with a gastric band, weight loss surgery patients still have to make good decisions about the types of food they eat, and sometimes they still struggle with weight-loss plateaus.

This is where news such as this is still important to follow, as it can help weight loss surgery patients alter their behavior, much like the researchers will hope will happen for the general population.

In fact, the researchers are recommending that the U.S. Department of Agriculture update its food pyramid with recommendations for holiday and weekend eating.

The good news is that you don't have to wait for USDA recommendations for you to take action.

Being aware that this is an issue is a great place to start, as we all know that knowledge is power. Knowing that on average our weekend eating habits can be as bad as our holiday eating habits allows us to plan to make better decisions.

Here are a few ideas to help combat weekend weight-gain:

  • Don't celebrate the weekend for the whole weekend. Pick one meal if you really need to indulge.
  • Try to extend your weekday meal routines into the weekend. Keep the times the same, and keep your rules the same.
  • Journal your food intake. This is always a helpful tool to hold yourself accountable and remind yourself what's really going into your body.

If you have other ideas on how to keep your diet on track through the weekend, please share them in the comments.

LAP-BAND Weight Loss Tips: Cut the TV Time


LAP-BAND Tip: Cutting TV time can burn caloriesHere's another article on a study that seems self-evident: Cutting TV Time Burns More Calories.

Sure it seems somewhat obvious - if you're not sitting in front of the television, your probably doing something productive, right? It's important for LAP-BAND Patients to be aware of behavior that can help or hinder their weight loss, and studies like this highlight the mechanics of our own behavior.

In this study, 36 participants were asked to reduce their television time by 50 percent. On average, participants burned 120 more calories a day than they did on days before the reduced tv time.

Those are the same 120 calories you could lose by walking a mile each day.

How did the participants fill their day and burn those calories? Most of them reported light housework and other light-duty activities.

Imagine that - burnt calories and a clean house.

All joking aside, the study only ran for 3 weeks, so the researchers were not able to draw any major conclusions about long-term weight loss or Body Mass Index (BMI) change, but 120 calories is definitely a start in the right direction.

What this study information may be most useful for is either helping a LAP-BAND Patient at the beginning of her wieght loss journey to learn to adjust behavior or giving someone the extra oomph they need to get past a weight-loss plateau.

And what's more - now is the perfect time for this information. The TV networks are mostly running re-runs through the new year, so it's not like you're going to miss anything new.

Can you give up 50 percent of your TV time? What will you do with it instead? Let me know in the comments.

Improving Asthma with a Gastric Band


A gastric band can help you lose weight, but it can also help asthmatic patients reduce the severity of asthma symptoms.

Both morbid obesity and asthma are chronic conditions, and some evidence indicates they are related. A 1999 study followed 32 morbidly obese patients and evaluated their asthma conditions following weight loss surgery with gastric bands for one year.

Severity, daily impact, medications needed, hospitalization, sleep and exercise were all studied in relation to asthma in these patients. Over the study year, the patients reported significant improvements in each area of asthma studied.

The study also indicated that other mechanisms besides weight loss played a part in the asthma improvement, including the resolution or improvement of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). GERD also typically improves after gastric band surgery.

If you're suffering from morbid or severe obesity and asthma, you may want to consider how a gastric band could help you improve your health. Get started now by downloading our library of LAP-BAND Materials to get informed!

Adjustable Gastric Bands help with a variety of conditions


It is widely known that adjustable gastric bands improve morbid and severe obesity by helping people lose significant amounts of weight, but gastric bands help other conditions, too.

Five of the top conditions gastric bands helps improve are:

  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension

All five of these conditions have association with obesity, along with many more. Losing a signficant amount of weight often can help improve conditions like these.

Primarily, though, gastric bands treat morbid and severe obesity, which is the cause of or contributor to many other problems.

For instance, we all know that cigarette smoking or alcohol abuse can lead to harmful health effects, but a 2002 study showed that obesity caused more harmful effects than either of those activities.

Fortunately, we live in a time that obesity is being studied more and more as a disease instead of it being oversimplified to lifestyle choices. Today, doctors recognize severe obesity as a chronic disease, and surgical options for weight loss are constantly being examined and improved.

A number of studies have shown that long-term weight loss with adjustable gastric bands can lead to improved health.

Specifically, for our previous five conditions, consider that after gastric band surgery:

  • patients reported reductions in asthma severity.
  • 93% of patients with sleep apnea reported resolution after a year.
  • 90% of patients with GERD had improved reflux symptoms.
  • patients achieved up to 80% complete resolution of diabetes.
  • patients experienced significant blood pressure improvements, allowing many to go off hypertension medications.

The studies that produced these results noted an average excess weight loss of 38% to 58% in the first year after gastric band surgery, and gastric band patients typically continue to lose weight well beyond their first years.

These important improvements of a variety of disease states vividly show why at Weight Loss Surgical Center, we do not view gastric banding as a cosmetic procedure, but a powerful, life-changing tool that can help you lose weight, get healthy and get more of life.

Because gastric band surgery helps so many conditions, many insurance companies offer benefits for gastric band surgery. Schedule your initial consultation today so we can find out about your insurance benefits.

Are obese people at greater risk for allergies?


A study in the May issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology says that children and teens are at higher risk for allergies if they are obese.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey said that obese children and teens were 26 percent more likely to have allergies of any sort, and they had a 59 percent higher risk for developing food averages, compared with normal-weight children.

The study focused on 4,111 people from ages 2 to 19.

Researchers cautioned that the topic needs further research, because it does not necessarily prove a link between obesity and allergy development, but the potential for such a link is apparent. However, the study gives another potential reason to prevent or reduce childhood obesity.

An article on the study can be found at Yahoo News.

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