That’s the finding of a new article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA and reported in The Times today – Save One Heart and Break Another with Weight Loss Surgery.
Researchers in Sweden undertook a study of weight loss surgery patients – that’s gastric band, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass – and found that those surgery patients who were single at the time of surgery were twice as likely to find love as the equivalent group who didn’t have surgery. Remarkably they also found that the more weight you lost the more likely you were to find love. The results were based on two groups, one of 3900 obese people who were followed up for a decade, and the second a cross section of 300,000 people followed up for 5 years.
It’s no great surprise to me as so many of the people I meet in our clinic are very unhappy due to their weight. It has a negative impact on how they think others view them and, as a result, how they view themselves. Very often patients will have some history of treatment for low mood or depression. By extension this can affect confidence and its easy to understand why that would make it difficult to find a partner.
In clinic, in addition to meeting single patients who have had surgery and gone on to find a partner, I can also point to patients who have had surgery, lost weight and developed the confidence to leave the bad relationship they were already in. The Swedish research backs this up and says that surgery patients who are married at the time of their operation are 35% more likely to get divorced than those in the equivalent group and who didn’t have surgery. It’s interesting we often find that partners struggle to deal with the weight loss of their partner and a lack of ‘husband support’ is a reason some female visitors to clinic decide not to have the surgery they need. I have to say its less frequent we hear of wives trying to talk their husbands out of it. That may be partly because 85% of private weight loss surgery patients are women. The imbalance of male and female procedures is topic for another blog.
Anyway, I think the important thing we can take from this latest research is that there is now another very compelling reason to have weight loss surgery.
If better health, better quality of life, higher earning potential and longer life expectancy are not enough to persuade you of the benefits of weight loss surgery, you can now add increased chances of finding love to the list!