Loughborough University
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Physical activity for optimising and sustaining long-term bariatric surgery outcomes

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posted on 2016-04-07, 15:57 authored by Louisa Y. Herring
Obesity levels are increasing worldwide, and in the United Kingdom the prevalence of overweight and obesity is amongst the highest in the developed world. Obesity is associated with reduced physical function and health-related quality of life, as well as an increased risk of co-morbidities such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension. As a result of high levels of morbid obesity and a failure of conventional methods of weight loss, more people are resorting to invasive weight loss techniques such as bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery combined with lifestyle modification is currently the most successful weight loss intervention for the treatment of obesity and its associated co-morbidities. However, weight regain is becoming more apparent, generally occurring between 12 and 24 months after surgery. Weight regain is generally attributed to the failure of individuals to adopt or maintain the necessary lifestyle changes. The most common factors leading to weight regain after bariatric surgery are insufficient exercise and returning to pre-operative eating behaviours. Increasing physical activity after surgery positively affects weight loss and physical function outcomes; therefore, adopting an active lifestyle is fundamental. This thesis combines three research studies which collectively provide evidence for understanding the importance of physical activity for optimising physical function and facilitating the prevention of weight regain. Study one is a systematic review and meta-analysis which assessed pre to post-operative changes in physical activity behaviour and physical function outcomes among obese adults receiving bariatric surgery. This demonstrates improvements in objective and self-reported activity and function by 12 months. Study two is an analysis of body mass, co-morbidity and physical function data from pre to post bariatric surgery. This retrospective NHS dataset analysis aimed to identify if and when weight regain occurs, the proportion of co-morbidity resolution, and physical function patterns in patients after bariatric surgery. Weight loss patterns indicate weight stability from 12 to 24 months and weight regain 24 months post-surgery. Study three is a randomised controlled trial, The MOTION Study, which examined the effect of a 12 week exercise intervention on physical function and body composition in patients 12-24 months post bariatric surgery. This trial also examined maintenance of effects at six months. Findings suggest that implementing exercise at the point of weight regain is effective, notably for improving physical function and body composition in this population. This thesis therefore contributes to advancing the understanding of the role of physical activity in enhancing long-term outcomes after bariatric surgery and to informing future post-operative bariatric care.


The Leicester Loughborough Diet, Physical activity and Lifestyle Biomedical Research Unit



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


© Louisa Yvette Herring

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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