Experts from across the South West will come together to discuss issues around weight loss management in the region.
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Obesity conference aims for better weight loss management in the South West

Experts from across the South West will come together to discuss issues around weight loss management in the region – including why the number of obese people being referred for weight loss surgery has halved, even though it could prolong their lives.

Clinicians and health service providers will review the region’s weight management services at the Obesity Strategy and Service Review (OSAR) meeting on November 12 at the University of Exeter Medical School.

Conference organiser and weight management expert Dr Katarina Kos, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said weight loss surgery could be particularly effective for obese people who also have diabetes. She said: “Opting for weight loss surgery is not an easy path and there are surgical risks with every procedure, but current evidence demonstrates convincingly that weight loss surgery increases life expectancy and can lead to diabetes remission. This means a lot to patients with diabetes, who can stop with daily injections of insulin and who can sometimes even stop tablets. I hope this conference will help us to gain a better understanding of why these patients are not coming forward to consider this option.”

All patients accepted for weight loss surgery must fall within guidelines on body mass index set by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). They are also required to adjust to a sustainable lifestyle which includes reducing their calorie intake prior to surgery. The procedure and weight management services are expensive, so their effectiveness in long term weight loss and health benefit are important considerations. Dr Kos said: “While surgery supports fast and efficient weight loss, especially in the first year, maintaining the best weight loss in the longer term requires that the commitment to the new lifestyle habits continues. While it is hard work, of all weight management strategies, weight loss surgery has the best longer term health outcome. This conference aims to help address issues such as why patients entering the services frequently express that they feel a failure if they feel that they do not manage their weight problem without surgery.”

To find out more about the conference, visit: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/events//details/index.php?event=5082

Date: 5 November 2015

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