• Sweden's news in English
 
Fat Swedes need scalpel after gastric bypass op
A woman has her waist measured. File photo: TT

Fat Swedes need scalpel after gastric bypass op

Published: 26 Feb 2014 10:40 GMT+01:00

Uppsala University researcher David Edholm has examined patients who went through gastric bypass surgery 17 to seven years ago. Most not only shed weight, but managed to keep it off and 80 percent of the patients in the study said they were satisfied with the operation. 

"It's encouraging to be able to show good results, not least because it's from one of the few studies in the world that really went far back to follow up," Edholm said in a statement on Wednesday that also dubbed obesity the public health epidemic of the 21st century.

A patient in Sweden qualifies for gastric bypass on the national health service if they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40. On average, a patient can expect to be on sick leave for four to six weeks after the procedure, medical website 1177.se noted.

The procedure did often lead to the patient having to resort to plastic surgery, however, to remove excess skin on the abdomen. More than two in five patients had to have follow up plastic surgery, the research found.

"What about all the loose skin?" asked one patient on her blog. As the number of procedures have increased in Sweden, so has the culture of blogging about life before and after surgery. 

"I'd rather have loose skin and a healthy weight, than have the skin filled up with a tonne of kilogrammes," the 30-year-old blogger at En gång tjock (Once fat) mused. "Yes, my skin is loose, but that's not an effect of the surgery, rather it's because of how overweight I was before the op." 

Edholm's research was revealed just days after the the Public Health Institute (Folkhälsomyndigheten) warned that the Swedish population was getting ever fatter - especially middle-aged Swedes and those nearing retirement age. In the 45-64 age bracket, obesity among women had increased eight percent and among men five percent in the past ten years. 

Health experts warned that the many health problems associated with obesity meant Sweden would soon have to foot an ever larger health bill as Swedes pile on the pounds. 

"Even if you lead quite a healthy life, you're adding half a kilogramme a year," Karolinska Institute expert Claude Marcus told the TT news agency. "That's two extra meatballs a day. If you instead eat four more meatballs every day, you're rapidly adding a kilo per year. And over a ten-year period, that's quite a lot." 

Today, 26 percent of Swedes between 16 and 29 are classified as overweight or obese. Among 30-40-year-olds, that percentage is 45. 

While the short- and long-term health benefits of patients losing weight are well-documented, Edholm noted in his research that patients were bad at taking vitamin supplements, which are recommended for life after the procedure. Only 24 percent of the patients took multivitamins every day, but 72 percent did make sure to supplement their diet with vitamin B12.

Edholm's research also noted that patients who embarked on a low calorie diet for four weeks in the run up to surgery managed to shrink the size of their liver, which can make surgery easier. 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden seeks ban on foreign booze advertising
File photo: Shutterstock.

Sweden seeks ban on foreign booze advertising

Two powerful Swedish lobby groups have turned to the European Commission to try and get a complete ban on alcohol advertising on television, after it emerged some channels were dodging the ban by being registered abroad. READ  

Minecraft creator beats Beyonce in mansion bid
Markus Persson created hit game Minecraft. Photo: TT

Minecraft creator beats Beyonce in mansion bid

UPDATED: Swedish billionaire Markus Persson is reported to have outbid the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce with his half billion kronor offer ($70 million) for a 2,000-square-metre Beverly Hills mansion. READ  

Accelerated for Ice Music
Ice Music taps Texas troubadour for new tunes
A scene from a 2014 Ice Music concert in Luleå. Photo: Graeme Richardson/Swedish Lapland

Ice Music taps Texas troubadour for new tunes

The world's "coolest concert" is set for a Texas twist in 2015 when Luleå's innovative Ice Music welcomes American musical talent from Austin, home of the South By Southwest (SXSW) music festival. READ  

Second baby on the way for Princess Madeleine
Princess Madeleine at the previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Second baby on the way for Princess Madeleine

UPDATED: Sweden's Royal Court has announced that Princess Madeleine is pregnant with the second child of her financier husband Chris O'Neill. READ  

Video
Video: The best & worst of Swedish Christmas
Tom says he is a big fan of the food. Photo: The Local

Video: The best & worst of Swedish Christmas

What's the best thing about Christmas in Sweden? The worst? And perhaps most importantly, the tastiest? The Local's Paul O'Mahony hits the Old Town's Christmas market as the first snow of the season falls to find out more. READ  

Swedish 'butcher' murderer gets 16 years
Forensic experts examine the scene where the victim's body was dumped in Askersund. Photo: Pavel Koubek/TT

Swedish 'butcher' murderer gets 16 years

A Swedish woman who killed and then hacked up a female love rival has been sentenced to 16 years in prison and also ordered to pay damages to the victim's family. READ  

Bildt works as babysitter on Swedish reality show
Carl Bildt. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/AP

Bildt works as babysitter on Swedish reality show

Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has been given a cautious thumbs up for his child-minding abilities after appearing on a Swedish Celebrity Babysitter show. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish Christmas ham
The traditional Christmas ham. Photo: Max Holmberg/Flickr

How to make Swedish Christmas ham

Every year Swedes devour the Christmas ham - or julskinka - with relish, with an estimated 7,000 tonnes sold annually. But just how do you prepare this succulent delight? Fear no more as The Local finds out. READ  

Ikea packs up furniture sales in Russia

Ikea packs up furniture sales in Russia

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has called a temporary halt on sales of its kitchen furniture and appliances in Russia as it couldn't cope with the extra demand brought on by the fall in the Russian rouble. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: December 18th to 25th
National
'Unprecedented' Russian activity: Armed Forces
Society
Interview: The Local chats with Melinda Gates
Society
VIDEO: Stockholmers try out some Swedish tongue twisters
Society
Eight things to do when it gets dark in Umeå
Blog updates

19 December

Editor’s Blog, December 19th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Father Time has taken another week from us, but never fear – good old Father..." READ »

 

17 December

An Exclusive Interview with Melinda Gates (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"This week Nobel peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi urged the world to “globalize compassion”, as he..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Inside Sweden's first 'light therapy' school
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: December 17th
Estelle through the years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Society
Why are there so many 100-year-olds in one Swedish town?
Society
Is it time to better celebrate Sweden's diverse identity?
Gallery
Property of the week: Huddinge
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
CATCH UP: Russian plane in Baltic near-miss drama
Lifestyle
How my compass drew me to Sweden
National
The man whose memory you need to remember
Gallery
People-watching: December 13th - 14th
Sponsored Article
How to get your own office anywhere in the world
Politics
'Our party will stand alone': Stefan Löfven
Society
The Local chats to Ruben Östlund, director of Golden Globe nominated Force Majeure
Lifestyle
Ten things to know before a Swedish party
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: December 12th to 19th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The 2014 Nobel Banquet
National
The Local's guide to the Nobel Prizes 2014
Education
Introducing... Education in Stockholm
Society
The Swedish Christmas market with a twist
Lifestyle
Why do so many Swedes have tattoos?
Society
Get 20% off Swedish Christmas decorations
National
Dewani family: We only heard half the story
Business & Money
Business in Stockholm: 'efficiency is money'
Gallery
Property of the week: Östermalm
National
Meet the Swedes hosting festive feasts for 'lonely' guests
Gallery
TIMELINE: Swedish honeymoon killing murder trial
Gallery
People-watching: December 7th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: What's it like to fly planes in Sweden?
National
Submarine hunters 'robbed' of reward cash
National
The Local's Countdown to Christmas
National
'Dangerous' USB charger recalled in Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King and Queen wrap up France tour
National
Analysis: Should Snowden get asylum in Sweden?
National
Swedish schoolboy in female saint role row
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's political crisis unfolds
Gallery
People-watching: December 3rd
National
What happened to Sweden's ice bucket cash?
Lifestyle
Top Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
SIS: the thinking behind globalised learning
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

820
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options