Perhaps the most reliable expectation of obesity treatment is variability. We see vast heterogeneity in treatment response to bariatric surgery, pharmacotherapy, behavioral therapy, medically and self-directed weight loss, and other modalities, each ranging from near-miraculous benefits to null, or even negative, effects. For example, weight loss from bariatric surgery ranges from more than 100% excess body weight loss in hyperresponders to weight gain in some nonresponders, with standard deviations often exceeding mean weight loss.1 Similarly, health outcomes range from complete resolution of comorbid conditions and life-changing improvements in quality of life to tragic adverse events, including addiction, disability, and suicide.2-5
Kahan S. Predicting Factors Associated With Comorbidity Remission Following Bariatric Surgery: Preliminary Progress. JAMA Surg. 2016;151(2):137–138. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.3237
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