Obesity Surgery

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 841–849 | Cite as

Bariatric Surgery versus Lifestyle Interventions for Morbid Obesity—Changes in Body Weight, Risk Factors and Comorbidities at 1 Year

  • Catia Martins
  • Magnus Strømmen
  • Ola A. Stavne
  • Randi Nossum
  • Ronald Mårvik
  • Bård Kulseng
Clinical Research



Few studies have looked at non-surgical alternatives for morbid obese patients. This study aims to compare 1-year weight loss and changes in risk factors and comorbidities after bariatric surgery and three conservative treatments.


Patients with morbid obesity (BMI > 40 or BMI > 35 kg/m2 plus comorbidities) on waiting list for bariatric surgery, were non-randomly allocated to (A) bariatric surgery or to one of three conservative treatments; (B) residential intermittent program; (C) commercial weight loss camp and (D) hospital outpatient program. Body weight, risk factors and comorbidities were assessed at baseline and 1 year.


Of 206 participants, 179 completed the study. All treatments resulted in significant weight loss, but bariatric surgery (40 ± 14 kg, 31 ± 9%) led to the largest weight loss (P < 0.0001). There were no differences in weight loss between B and C (22 ± 13 kg, 15 ± 8% vs. 18 ± 12 kg, 13 ± 8%), but these resulted in larger weight loss compared with D (7 ± 10 kg, 5 ± 8%). There were no differences in changes in total or LDL cholesterol, triacylglycerols or glucose between groups; however, the increase in HDL cholesterol was significantly larger in groups A and C. There were no differences in comorbidities resolution between groups A and B, C and D combined (except hypertension, which was better in group A).


In conclusion, although bariatric surgery leads to a greater weight loss at 1 year compared with conservative treatment, in patients with morbid obesity, clinical significant weight loss and similar improvements in risk factors and comorbidities resolution can also be achieved with lifestyle interventions.


Obesity Weight loss Lifestyle modifications Obesity surgery 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catia Martins
    • 1
    • 3
  • Magnus Strømmen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ola A. Stavne
    • 4
  • Randi Nossum
    • 5
  • Ronald Mårvik
    • 3
  • Bård Kulseng
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Obesity Research Group, Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of MedicineNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of MedicineNorwegian University of Technology and ScienceTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Centre for Obesity, Department of SurgerySt. Olav Hospital—Trondheim University HospitalTrondheimNorway
  4. 4.Røros Rehabilitation CentreRørøsNorway
  5. 5.Clinical ServicesSt. Olavs Hospital—Trondheim University HospitalTrondheimNorway

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