Obesity is becoming a bigger health issue in the United States every day. A new study released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that after a review of the 33 leading world economies, the U.S. came in first with the most overweight population.
They estimated that about a third of Americans are obese or at least 30 pounds overweight.
One option for the overweight and obese is bariatric surgery. Through a bariatric procedure, such as lap band or gastric bypass, patients can achieve a significant weight reduction, as well as an improvement in general health. Weight loss surgery works by limiting the amount of food a person can consume.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons highlighted one of the health benefits. It found that obese women who have weight loss surgery before they get pregnant are three times less likely to develop gestational diabetes and are also less likely to require a cesarean section.
The researchers compared rates of gestational diabetes among 346 obese women who had bariatric surgery before pregnancy and 354 obese women who had bariatric surgery after delivery.
The study found:
- Rates of gestational diabetes were 8 percent for those who had the surgery before pregnancy
- Rates of gestational diabetes were 27 percent for those who had the surgery after delivery
- Rates of cesarean delivery were 28 percent for those who had the surgery before pregnancy
- Rates of cesarean delivery were 43 percent for those who had the surgery after delivery
Most of the women who underwent weight loss surgery did not wait the recommended two years afterwards before delivering a baby, noted senior author Dr. Martin Makary, an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and his colleagues.