Weight Loss

Weight-Loss Surgery Is Beneficial for Patients With Mild to Moderate Obesity

A recent study1 found that weight-loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, can be beneficial for people with mild to moderate obesity. The procedures have been found to improve symptoms of metabolic disease and can lead to significant weight loss. However, bariatric surgery is usually indicated only for those with severe obesity, defined as 75 to 100 lbs more than their ideal weight or a body mass index (BMI) of 35 kg/m2 or higher with comorbidities. 

The study, conducted by researchers at East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, was presented during the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) 2021 Annual Meeting. It included 566 patients who had undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and 730 patients who had undergone sleeve gastrectomy. Participants had an average BMI of 33 kg/m2 and had undergone the procedures from institutions across the United States.

The analysis showed that patients with class I obesity (defined as a BMI between 30 and 35 kg/m2) had lost up to 20% of their baseline body mass. Type 2 diabetes was 45% more likely to be in remission 2 years after the gastric bypass as well. For patients who had undergone gastric bypass, the probability of being in remission from hyperlipidemia was 50%, whereas those who had undergone sleeve gastrectomy had a 25% probability. The probability of hypertension remission after 3 years was 60% for patients who underwent gastric bypass and 50% for those who underwent sleeve gastrectomy. 

“This study confirms the effectiveness of bariatric surgery in patients with Class 1 obesity in real-world settings and suggests earlier intervention in patients with less severe disease should be considered,” said study coauthor Maria Altieri, MD, a bariatric surgeon at East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine.2

—Jessica Bard


1. Altieri MS, Irish W, Pories WJ, et al. Outcomes in patients undergoing bariatric surgery with class I obesity. Paper presented at: American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) 2021 Annual Meeting; June 10-12, 2021; Virtual. https://asmbsmeeting.com/abstract/outcomes-in-patients-undergoing-bariatric-surgery-with-class-i-obesity/

2. New Study Finds Weight-Loss Surgery Beneficial to Those with Mild to Moderate Obesity. News release. Newswise. June 11, 2021. https://www.newswise.com/articles/new-study-finds-weight-loss-surgery-beneficial-to-those-with-mild-to-moderate-obesity