SAN DIEGO -- Though I appreciate the time and effort taken in researching obesity and bariatric procedures and outcomes, some studies make me shake my head in wonder.
For instance, comparing the success rate of bariatric surgery to commercial weight loss programs seems ridiculous. After all, does anybody really think counting POINTS! can hold a candle to rerouting one's digestive tract to reduce capacity and nutrient absorption? That doesn't even seem logical to me, much less a wise use of funding.
Here are two of what I'd call "duh" studies that were presented at the convention this week:
* Bariatric surgery makes people more sensitive to alcohol -- I don't think any of us with gastric bypass needed Stanford researchers to tell us that our rerouted intestinal tract makes us cheap dates when it comes to running a bar tab.
Dr. John Morton, assistant professor of surgery and senior author of the study, was quoted in today's Science Daily as saying, "I've heard the anecdotes of a patient who will drink one glass of wine and get a DUI, but I wanted to know if there is really a difference before and after the surgery."
Dr. Morton later says in the article that most patients aren't aware of this and that Oprah has done the field a favor by pointing it out on her show about the dangers of cross-addiction. I don't know about the rest of the post-ops in the world, but I discovered that fact the first time I tried wine after surgery. I didn't need Oprah or a study to enlighten me. Furthermore, I had been warned by other post-ops about the phenomena long before I ever had surgery, so I don't think it's as big of a mystery as Dr. Morton professes.
* Binge eating and a sweet tooth lead to gastric-band failures -- Just to make sure we're all on the same page here, a team of Swiss researchers reported that those post-ops who binged on food or indulged in sweets experienced a higher incidence of band failure than those who did not. The conclusion? The best candidates for banding are highly motivated patients who don't binge or eat sweets. Wouldn't you say the same thing for any type of bariatric procedure?