• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Fat Swedes need scalpel after gastric bypass op

The Local · 26 Feb 2014, 10:40

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." 

Story continues below…

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
Brussels attacks
Swedish terror suspect 'dumped bomb in toilet'
Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Belgian media report that Osama Krayem tried to dispose of the explosives before carrying them onto the Brussels metro system.

Eurovision 2016
Regional politicians hit out at Sweden's Eurovision flag ban
Lots of flag-waving at Eurovision. Photo: AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson

Spanish politicians have criticized Swedish Eurovision organizers after a regional flag was banned alongside that of Isis from the competition in Stockholm.

Eight charged over shooting at Gothenburg restaurant
People leaving flowers at the scene of the fatal shooting last year. Photo: TT

The attack last spring left two people dead in one of the most high-profile shootings in Sweden in recent years.

Swedes want answers from Russia after Nato warning
Russian T-14 Armata tanks make their way to Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in May. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

UPDATED: What exactly does Russia's foreign minister mean when he says his country will "take action" if Sweden joins Nato?

Two historic shipwrecks found right in central Stockholm
Divers looking for a ship in central Stockholm. Photo: Anders P Näsberg/Statens maritima museer

Another two shipwrecks dating back to at least the 1600s have been found in central Stockholm.

Alicia Vikander scoops lead role in new Tomb Raider
Alicia Vikander poses at the Scandinavian terrace during the 68th Cannes film festival last May. Photo: Jean Christophe Magnenet/AFP

The next Lara Croft will be a Swede.

Brussels terror suspect wants jail time in Sweden
Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Osama Krayem wants to come home if found guilty.

The Local Recipes
How to make Sweden's famous veal burgers
Photo: John Duxbury

These mouth-watering burgers, or Wallenbergare, are a classic at Swedish restaurants. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

Russia's foreign minister warns Sweden off Nato
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Photo: Ivan Sekretarev/TT

Sergey Lavrov also blamed Sweden for a breakdown in relations between the countries in an interview with newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Eurovision 2016
Swedes create world's first crowdsourced singing voice
Screenshot from the 'Sound of Europe' video by Tele2.

Can tech, connectivity and Eurovision help the world unite?

Sponsored Article
Kista: The best office space in Sweden?
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
Sponsored Article
Why international researchers love to call Malmö home
National
INTERVIEW: Swedish police officer 'beat me up and used racial slurs'
Gallery
People-watching: April 27th
Blog updates

29 April

Editor’s blog, April 29th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Relations between Sweden and Russia went from slightly strained to full-on James Bond this…" READ »

 

18 April

A day as a guard (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Life as an Ambassador. Driven around in the Jaguar. Visits all planned so you go straight…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
‘Life in Stockholm’s suburbs is better than people realize’
National
Öresund bridge border checks net record number of drink drivers
Sponsored Article
'A huge waste of resources': how to fix integration
National
Swedes bid farewell to iconic Volvo
Gallery
Property of the week: Enköping
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd-24th
Sponsored Article
'A sustainable Sweden must embrace diversity'
Politics
Could Brits in Europe stop Brexit?
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
The first official picture of Sweden's new royal Prince Alexander
National
Sweden's Sami reindeer still live in the shadow of Chernobyl
Sponsored Article
Sigtunaskolan: 'The best of what Sweden has to offer'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 20th
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
National
Why was a Nazi flag hoisted in a Swedish town on Hitler's birthday?
National
How did Sweden's deputy PM get in trouble over New York comments?
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 16th-17th
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
Culture
Sweden finally axes historic dancing ban
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
International
Have you phoned Sweden yet?
Sponsored Article
'Swedes must realize only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 13th
National
Is booze going up in Sweden?
National
How Sweden's fake 'smombie' traffic sign is being used for real
Culture
Sweden's Tarzan drops trousers
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 9th-10th
Sport
Zlatan wants to be new 'Rambo'
National
Swedes in a huff about giant TV penis
3,279
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