Weight loss: The treatment doctors warn against – ‘should be last resort’

Mark Wright discusses his weight loss plans

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The post Christmas and new year period are a popular time for people to try and lose weight.

All weight loss methods take considerable effort to achieve results and some people may be tempted to find workarounds.

A series of viral videos have popularised the concept of gastric sleeve surgery as a transformative weight loss tool.

Dr Sameer Sanghvi, Clinical Technology Lead at Lloyds Pharmacy Online, has warned that people should approach this option with caution.

A sleeve gastrectomy is a medical operation that removes a large part of the stomach.

By making your stomach smaller, you are not able to eat as much and will feel full quickly after eating, losing weight as a result.

Dr Sanghvi said: “Gastric sleeves are a weight loss solution that should only be viewed as a last resort.

“There are plenty of other non-surgical weight loss methods you should try exploring before being offered surgery.”

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A gastric sleeve can force you to change your eating habits, but being diligent about your eating habits and lifestyle can achieve the same results.

“Basic lifestyle and dietary changes can have a dramatic impact on your weight,” says Dr Sanghvi.

“Simple things such as not skipping breakfast, eating regular meals, and proper portion control can have transformative effects on body weight.”

Recommended changes include eating more plant matter, drinking water instead of snacking, avoiding junk food and alcohol and exercising frequently.

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A sleeve gastrectomy can be a useful medical operation, he explains, but only when a person is aware of the consequences and has explored other options.

Having a small stomach means that you need to alter your diet to be nutrient dense.

You cannot digest the same amount of food so the food you eat has to be healthier or you will develop malnutrition.

This means avoiding any food that offers non-nutritious calories, such as alcohol, fizzy drinks, and sweets.

The changes to your nutrition have the potential to cause long term complications.

The side effects and complications a person might face will vary and none are guaranteed to occur.

As you lose body weight from consuming fewer calories you are liable to suffer from persistent fatigue, hair loss and mood imbalances.

A 2016 study from the British Journal of Surgery found that Gastric Bypass surgery, a similar weight loss surgery, was linked to a a greatly increased risk of alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide.

2021 statistics found that a quarter of the UK adult population are obese, quadruple the rates found 25 years ago.

62 percent of the population falls into the broader category of overweight, the highest rate in Europe.

Being overweight or obese can increase risk of a large number of diseases.

Diabetes and heart disease are both more prevalent among overweight people.

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