June 18, 2024

Study: Bariatric surgery outperforms GLP-1 treatment, lifestyle modifications

Editor's Note

Bariatric surgery provides longer-lasting, more effective weight loss than GLP-1 receptor agonists and lifestyle interventions, according to systematic reviews of medical literature from 2020 to 2024. Medical Xpress reported the news June 11.

Presented at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) 2024 Annual Scientific Meeting, the systematic review included 35 studies on bariatric surgery, four randomized clinical trials on GLP-1s, and eight studies on lifestyle modifications, reviewing data from approximately 20,000 patients. Key findings include:

  • Lifestyle interventions (diet and exercise) resulted in an average weight loss of 7.4%, but that weight was generally regained within 4.1 years.
  • Semaglutide treatment resulted in 10.6% weight loss after five months, while tirzepatide resulted in 21.1% weight loss after nine months. However, about half the lost weight returned within a year if treatment stopped.
  • After 17-18 months of continued GLP-1 treatment, weight loss plateaued at 22.5% for tirzepatide and 14.9% for semaglutide.
  • Gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy resulted in 31.9% and 29.5% weight loss after one year, respectively, with approximately 25% of weight loss maintained for up to 10 years.

Although medical professionals will likely always encourage healthy living, data show that both surgery and drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy are more effective for weight loss.

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