Study Suggests Moderate Exercise After Bariatric Surgery Provides Health Benefits

Study Suggests Moderate Exercise After Bariatric Surgery Provides Health BenefitsIn a recent randomized, controlled study, researchers found that moderate exercise after weight loss surgery decreased the risk of specific metabolic factors related to type 2 diabetes. The findings propose that moderate exercise performed by bariatric surgery patients following surgery may have health benefits that extend beyond weight loss.

In particular, the study found that patients who participated in moderate exercise after weight loss surgery saw improvements in both cardiorespiratory fitness and glucose metabolism when compared to patients who followed a sedentary lifestyle post bariatric surgery.

The study, which followed two groups of patients who received Roux-en-Y bypass (RYGB) weight loss surgery, was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The Study Details

The study consisted of 119 participants over a 24-week study period. The participants were segregated into two groups. One group performed 120 minutes of exercise each week, in addition to participating in an education program following surgery.

The other group only participated in an education program after weight loss surgery. Lectures, discussions, and demonstrations on topics such as nutrition, upper-body stretching, and medications were provided during six monthly sessions to both groups as part of the education program.

The Study Results

While both groups lost weight — approximately 50 pounds — after their RYGB surgery, the group who exercised displayed a marked improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness, which can decrease the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes, and future mortality and morbidity.

In addition, the exercise group experienced significant improvements in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity when compared with the education-only group.

The researchers reported that RYGB surgery results in substantial weight loss and improved cardiometabolic risk profile and is a highly effective treatment option for severe obesity. Caloric restriction in conjunction with exercise can not only produce a reduction in body weight, but also may be beneficial for weight maintenance, the study researchers also mentioned.

The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, East Carolina University, and Florida Hospital, represents the first controlled, randomized clinical study to examine the effects of exercise on cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin sensitivity following bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery is a procedure recommended for clinically obese individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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