Raj Majithia, Emil Oweis, Frederick C. Finelli and Timothy R. Koch
Background: The percentage of individuals in the United States who are obese is increasing. Diet and activity programs in clinical trials provide both modest weight loss (average 7 kg at 1 year) and poor maintenance of weight loss; therefore patients with medically-complicated obesity consider surgical options. Adjustable gastric banding is a newer, lower risk bariatric surgery and we hypothesized that a hobby, as a behavioral modification program, would improve post-operative weight loss after gastric banding. Methods: This is a retrospective database review of 74 patients at the Washington Hospital Center who underwent gastric adjustable band surgery from August 2008 to May 2010. We identified pre-operative weight, body mass index, ideal body weight, excess body weight lost at 6 months and 1 year, and presence or absence of a hobby. Results: At 6 months, compared to published diet and activity programs, only 4 gastric band patients did not have significant weight loss. Among 70 patients with significant weight loss, 40 patients had a hobby (mean weight loss 17.3 kg) compared to 30 patients with no hobby (mean weight loss 13.6 kg). At 1 year, 10 patients did not have significant weight loss; among 64 patients with significant weight loss, 37 had a hobby compared to 27 without (chisquare test: p < .05). At 1 year post-operative date, the average weight losses for patients with a hobby and those without were 19.3 kg and 16.9 kg, respectively. Conclusion: There was a significant association between improvements in weight loss 1 year after gastric band surgery in patients who had a hobby compared to those without. The results support the proposal that yoga could serve as a post-operative behavioral modification program to improve weight loss after adjustable gastric band surgery.