Healthy habits are contagious

Ever heard of the saying “birds of the same feather flock together”? Well, it’s true especially as it pertains to weight loss and keeping healthy: family and friends play an important role during the weight loss process, as new lifestyle changes directly rub off on them, leading them to experience the same changes you are. That’s right, weight loss and healthy eating are contagious.

A bloomberg article references an Archives of Surgery study on the effects of weight loss and lifestyle changes on the families of patients who underwent bariatric surgery came up with interesting results that support research on the links between social networks and health. 

A trial of 85 people showed that a year after surgery, other obese adults at home also lost weight and obese children in the house had a lower body mass index than expected, according to the paper in the Archives of Surgery. Patients after surgery are put on a strict eating regimen, which acts as a powerful influence for the rest of the household to modify their diets, researchers said.

Sixty percent of adult family members and 73 percent of children of patients undergoing bypass surgery were obese.

Obese adult family members lost about eight pounds over the year after significantly changing their eating habits, the study showed. The patients who had the surgery lost about 100 pounds..

Bariatric surgery has been growing but is still underutilized. Although it has risks, it on average cures diabetes (and other weight related illnesses). I have first hand knowledge of this from having anesthetized ~100 people having surgery, and seen how happy they are with the results when they return for other procedures. I considered the surgery at one point but decided to go to Structure House and lost 125lbs that way.

The effect of healthy eating and weight loss on families of bariatric surgery patients is important in highlighting the importance of surrounding oneself with people with similar goals. Gather family and friends, and keep each other healthy.



Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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