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Do negative public attitudes toward weight loss surgery stop some patients from having surgery?

December 12, 2018

Bottom Line: Most patients who qualify for weight loss surgery don't have the procedure despite its safety and effectiveness. One reason may be negative public attitudes toward weight loss surgery. This study assessed attitudes toward weight loss surgery with a national survey that included about 950 respondents. Nearly half reported they thought most people who had weight loss surgery did it for cosmetic reasons and about 40 percent thought people who had weight loss surgery chose the "easy way out." Women were more likely to think most weight loss surgical procedures were performed for health reasons and less likely to think of surgery as an easy way out. The association between more negative attitudes about weight loss surgery and people not opting for it supports the suggestion that public attitudes may be at least partly responsible for the low use of weight loss surgical procedures.

Authors: Heather Yeo, M.D., M.H.S., New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.4650)

Editor's Note:Editor's Note: The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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