A study presented on June 21, 2014 at the 16th International Congress of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society’s 96th Annual Meeting and Expo in Chicago, Illinois showed that nearly 60% of the obese patients that they studied are taking no action to reduce their weight. The analysis of the 2012 National Health and Wellness Survey that was conducted by Eisai Inc and Kantar Health found that those obese individuals that made an attempt to lose their excess by undergoing weight loss surgery or taking prescription medications for weight loss were more satisfied in the results than those individuals that had made lifestyle changes.
The analysis was of a study that looked at the satisfaction of 22,927 obese adults and 19,121 obese adults that had at least one obese comorbidity such as type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia or hypertension. These patients were put into three categories including those that went through weight loss surgery, those that took prescription medications and those that made lifestyle changes to attain weight loss. The lifestyle changes included diet changes, exercise, weight management programs and medications purchased over-the-counter as well as supplements. The scaled used for the satisfaction rating was 1 to 7 with 7 being extremely satisfied and 1 being extremely dissatisfied.
Out of the original 22,927 obese adults, 58% were not trying to lose the weight at all. The results of this indicate that there needs to be more education available and information about awareness and prevention. Out of all of the individuals surveyed in the study, only 2.3% of them had undergone surgery or were taking prescription weight loss medications. The remaining 39.3% were making lifestyle changes and self-modifying their situation.
The patients that had taken medications or achieved weight loss through surgery were significantly more satisfied with 39.3% of them reporting that they were extremely satisfied. Only 20.2% of the self-modifying patients were as satisfied. Out of the 19,121 patients with comorbidities due to obesity, 44.4% of those having had surgery or taken prescription drugs for weight loss were extremely or very satisfied with the results. Only 19.7% of the self-modifying patients of this group were satisfied with their results. There was no significant difference in the level of satisfaction between the patients that had surgery and those that took prescription medication.
Lead investigator Z. Jason Wang, PhD and director of Health Economics and Outcomes at Eisai located in Woodcliff Lake, NJ stated that the findings could mean that the dieting and exercise plan alone aren’t working well for many people. This could mean that the patients need the assistance of a physician in order to help them get started on the right track. Perhaps the dramatic changes that can be initiated by the use of weight loss surgery and prescription medications is what many of the patients need in order to get the process underway and get over a set hurdle point. While lifestyle changes such as changing the way that food is viewed and eaten, getting quality and regular exercise and using supplements to help out, can change things for some patients, others find that the process is slow and weight loss is hard to maintain.
It could be that the combination of the weight loss surgery or prescription medication and changes in lifestyle combined is the key to success. Learning about nutrition is a part of the process for an individual that goes through weight loss surgery and those that take prescription medications to lose weight. These things combined may offer patients a fuller scope of care and better opportunity to get started on the right foot.
The studies did not differentiate between the different types of surgery or the different types of prescription medications. There was no reference made to whether one type of surgery was better than another in the results that the patients had and the satisfaction that they found. There were also no differentiations made between the different types of self modifying actions taken by those that managed their weight loss through lifestyle changes.