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Medicine and Surgery Beat Diet Control in Prolonging Weight Loss

Daniel Kim Views  

A recent study has found that weight loss surgery and medication treatment significantly extend the duration of weight loss compared to diet control.

The study published in the Obesity Journal reveals that obesity surgery and GLP-1 drug treatment affect the mechanism of appetite control, significantly extending the duration of weight loss compared to diet control.

Various obesity treatments such as diet control, medication, and obesity surgery have distinct periods before they reach a weight plateau, a point where no further weight loss effect is noticeable.

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, prescribed for managing chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity, sustain subjects’ weight loss effects for over a year. However, traditional diet control methods typically reach a weight plateau within 12 months.

The research team used a mathematical model to understand human energy metabolism and body composition to study the distinct impacts of weight loss methods such as diet, medication, and surgery on internal energy regulation.

When fed with past research data on intensive calorie restriction, diet, and medication (Semaglutide, Tirzepatide), the model used by the research team simulates the changes these methods cause to energy metabolism over time. The researchers aimed to quantitatively demonstrate the impact of each treatment on the normal appetite control mechanism and measure the duration of sustained weight loss effect before reaching the weight plateau. Experts explained that the impact on the body’s energy metabolism varies depending on the weight loss method. Based on the research sources, treatments such as diet control, medication (Semaglutide, Tirzepatide), and surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, RYGB) initially significantly reduce energy intake. However, as weight loss stimulates the body’s internal feedback system that triggers appetite, the body compensates for the reduced energy intake over time. In other words, the weight decreases as much as the energy intake for an intended purpose. Still, gradually, the body compensates to balance energy intake and expenditure, leading to a weight plateau where no further weight loss occurs. The research team explained that RYGB surgery and medication treatment reduce the appetite-controlling feedback by about 40% to 70%, delaying the weight plateau. Thus, the weight loss effect lasts longer than that of diet control.

The researchers added that incorporating intermittent fasting with medication or surgery can alter energy efficiency and hormone levels that impact appetite and metabolism, extending the weight loss period. On the other hand, experts analyzed that determining the actual weight loss and controlling the weight plateau is a very complex process. It shows different patterns for each individual, making it difficult to conclude based on the results of a mathematical model alone. Information about long-term efficacy or progress after discontinuing the medication is limited since the research was conducted through GLP-1 agonists, a relatively new drug treatment compared to other drugs in the market. There are also concerns about rapid and excessive weight loss, malnutrition, and the risk of Dumping syndrome after RYGB surgery, so it is not advisable to make hasty judgments. They conveyed that countless personal factors must be considered in determining the optimal weight loss method suitable for each patient.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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