Dr. Thomas Lavin of the Surgical Specialists of Louisiana was quoted in an article last week about a study finding that weight loss programs can be more effective when combined with a program to improve body image and acceptance.
The study consisted of 239 overweight and obese women. The researchers divided the women into two groups. The first group was provided general information on how to eat healthy, effectively manage stress, and build a physical fitness routine. The second group attended 30 group discussion sessions, covering issues such as physical activity, emotional eating, and improving body acceptance and body image.
The study found that the women in the discussion groups developed better opinions about their bodies and were able to manage their diets better. Over the course of a year, they lost 7 percent of their body weight on average, while the other group lost on average 2 percent.
Dr. Lavin commented that “this new research has indicated that having a positive body image can help you lose weight. Developing a healthier body image can come from concrete proof that you’re actually achieving weight loss. Body image issues can be common in overweight and obese people and are often associated with poorer weight loss outcomes. Additionally, poor body image has been linked with negative eating behaviors that interfere with weight loss. Thus, it is very important to address and reduce body image concerns when treating obesity.”
Positive body image & weight loss options
Bariatric surgery is often a very effective treatment for obesity. However, some people who are overweight (BMI of 25 – 30) or even some who are obese (BMI 30 – 35) don’t meet the qualifications for standard laparoscopic bariatric procedures, according to NIH guidelines. Dr. Lavin explained that there are treatments for these people. New incisionless procedure can give these people opportunity for weight loss. Incisionless procedures have many advantages, including less post-op pain than traditional bariatric surgery and no external incisions, meaning no visible scars.
Dr. Lavin added, “a positive body image is the foundation for weight management. Incisionless procedures can help patients gain that positive body image as they begin seeing tangible results after years of yo-yo dieting.”