Weight-Loss Surgery, Prescriptions More Satisfying for Obese Patients

Obese patients who underwent surgery or took medications to lose weight were more satisfied with their results than those who made lifestyle changes.

Nearly 60% of obese patients are not taking any action to lose weight, according to the results of a recent analysis of the 2012 National Health and Wellness Survey conducted by Eisai Inc and Kantar Health. The 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, also found that among obese individuals who did attempt to lose weight, those who underwent surgery or took prescription medications were more satisfied with their weight loss than those who made lifestyle modifications and Tonic Weight Loss Surgery.

Researchers of the study analyzed the weight-loss satisfaction of 22,927 obese adults and 19,121 obese adults who had at least 1 related comorbidity including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or dyslipidemia. Patients were categorized as having undergone a weight-loss surgery or using a prescription for weight loss or using self-modifications such as diet, exercise, weight management programs, and over-the-counter medications and supplements to lose weight. Overall satisfaction with current weight-loss methods was analyzed on a scale from 1 (extremely dissatisfied) to 7 (extremely satisfied).

Of the 22,927 obese patients included in the analysis, 58.4% were not attempting to lose weight. This result suggests “the need for more education on obesity awareness/prevention,” the authors of the study noted.

Only 2.3% of patients used surgery or prescription medications to lose weight, while 39.3% were in the self-modification group. The results indicated that patients who used surgery or medications were significantly more satisfied with their weight-loss methods than those who made lifestyle changes. Among obese patients who had weight-loss surgery or took medications, 39.3% reported being extremely or very satisfied, compared with just 20.2% of modification patients. Similar results were observed among obese and overweight patients with comorbidities; 44.4% of patients in the surgery and prescription group were extremely or very satisfied, compared with 19.7% among those in the modification group. Treatment satisfaction did not significantly vary between patients using a prescription and those who had surgery.

“This finding may mean that diet and exercise alone just don’t work for a lot of people,” said lead investigator Z. Jason Wang, PhD, director of Health Economics and Outcomes at Eisai in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, in a press release. “Drug treatment and bariatric surgical procedures should be considered an integral part of weight management for eligible patients to achieve better treatment satisfaction, which may in turn help patients achieve and maintain better long-term weight loss.”