Adjustable gastric banding is much more effective long-term than a very low-calorie diet for people who are about 50 pounds overweight, a study shows.
Medical guidelines support this surgical procedure -- which puts a band around the top of stomach to create a feeling of fullness -- in patients who are extremely obese, about 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight, or those who are almost as overweight and have serious medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes
The other half followed a medical program that included a variety of strategies such as a very-low-calorie diet (500 calories a day) with liquid meal replacements, prescription weight-loss medication and behavioral therapies.
Findings in today's Annals of Internal Medicine:
- After six months, both the surgery patients and the low-calorie dieters lost an average of 14% of their starting weight.
- After two years, the gastric band patients lost 22% of their starting weight. That was about 87% of their excess weight, or roughly 45 pounds. They also showed marked improvement in their health and quality of life.
- At the end of two years, the dieters had regained much of their lost weight but were still 5.5% below their starting weight. They had lost 22% of their excess weight, or about 12 pounds.