Health Watch — The Obesity Epidemic: Bariatric Surgery

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about the obesity epidemic in the United States and how it relates to diabetes. The most effective treatment for insulin-resistant diabetes is weight loss, but losing weight can be very difficult for extremely overweight patients.

Dr. Edward Livingston, chief of gastrointestinal surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says non-surgical weight-loss methods, such as dieting, aren’t successful for long-term weight loss in morbidly obese patients. Bariatric surgery, in which the size of the stomach is reduced, can help these patients lose weight. There are many kinds of this surgery, and the surgery isn’t a magical weight-loss cure-all. Patients who’ve had the surgery need nutritional counseling and lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, to lose weight and keep it off. This surgery is a major life decision, and patients need to discuss their options with their doctors.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in digestive disorders. 


March 2008

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.