Research shows severely overweight people in Scotland undergo bariatric surgery too late

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A RECENT study has found that patients in Scotland with severe obesity undergo bariatric surgery too late.

The study, which was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), found that people assessed for weight loss surgery are older and have a higher weight than the international average.

After years of alternative weight loss methods, BMI’s average at 48 and they are at an average age of 47-years-old.

The international average is far lower at a BMI of 42 and 42-years-old.

Research shows Scots are receiving bariatric treatment when it is already too late.

Bariatric surgery is a general term for various types of weight loss surgeries, most commonly gastric bypass surgery.

The research- part of the SurgiCal Obesity Treatment Study (SCOTS)– was led by the Universities of Glasgow and Lancaster and published today.

It was found that the eligible patients who were oldest and had the highest BMI had a quality of life that was comparable to that of a cancer patient receiving palliative care.

Professor Jennifer Logue, Professor of Metabolic Medicine at Lancaster University, formerly of the University of Glasgow, stated:

“Our findings demonstrate that we need to act much earlier to ensure that people with severe obesity are not significantly disabled by the time they are receiving treatment.

Policy makers must consider the health and care needs of these individuals and invest to provide increased access to effective weight management.”

In a 2019 survey, the Scottish Government found that women are more likely than men to be considered as ‘high health risk or above’ in terms of BMI with 55% compared to 44%.

Women also account for 70% of all weight loss surgeries in Scotland.