Further evidence about the swirling cauldron of social turmoil from obesity is this report from Sweden1 where they keep better track of what they do on a national basis, at least when it comes to obesity surgery, and they learn a lot from that practice. These investigators used data from two registries of subjects who had undergone bariatric surgery. Two thousand from the first cohort of subjects who underwent bariatric surgery were compared with a similar number of obese people who did not get this surgery. In the second cohort, nearly 30,000 people who got gastric bypass surgery were compared to 300,000 adults in the general population.
Obesity surgery is the one successful method of permantly losing a lot of weight – about one third of pre-surgery weight is lost on average from gastric bypass.
There have been multiple reports in the past of a possible signal of increased suicide after obesity surgery. This report found that divorces and separations and new marriages are more common after gastric bypass compared to those who don’t undergo this mostly successful tactic for significant weight loss. The finding that among those who lost higher amounts of weight there were higher rates of relationship changes strengthens the meaning that the weight loss seems to be the agent. (= the cause?)
This is a good thing. The terrible crime of discrimination against obese humanity is probably greatly ameliorated by a big weight loss. “Self-confidence often increases. Behaviors change as patients have the opportunity to engage in activities for the first time in years or to develop new passions. As patients and their significant others adjust to their lifestyles after bariatric surgery, personal relationships are likely to change.”2
Or maybe it’s a bad thing – at least in Sweden – that tribe could be different from us though. But good or bad the cause is not obesity. The cause is unruly society.
1. Bruze G. et al. Associations of bariatric surgery with changes in interpersonal relationship status: results from 2 Swedish cohort studies. JAMAsurg. published online March 28, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.0215.
2. Imbus JR., Funk LM. Invited commentary. Relationship status after bariatric surgery. It’s complicated. JAMAsurg. published online March 28, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.0216.
John DiTraglia, M.D., is a pediatrician in Portsmouth. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or call 740-354-6605.