Is Weight Loss Contagious?

A new study suggests weight loss surgery benefits entire families.
5:47 | 10/19/11

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Transcript for Is Weight Loss Contagious?
Weight loss surgery is an effective and common solution for those fighting obesity. A recent study now suggests that these surgeries can benefit entire families so is obesity a familial disease and is healthy eating -- it. Joining us to discuss says doctor keep a new doctor -- -- welcome great to see you thank you so talk a little bit more about the study and what it found. Well this is an interesting study -- I like stays like this because they really show how the benefits can really be expanded beyond the initial the person receiving the surgery no. Most people receiving a bypass. A gastric bypass. Are going to be morbidly obese what's called morbid obesity and that is sort of defined as being either double your ideal body weight or at least 100 pounds above your idea bodies right so this is not for the person -- just sort of a casual -- -- you know loser and whenever. You've got to be like having life threatening obesity and the study looked at gastric bypass surgery specific rights specifically at a form of it called a rule and -- bypass which was developed by -- room and it gives them. Case it takes the part of that you know the small intestine towards the stomach upper part of the small intestine. And it attaches it to lower part of the small intestine to bypass a lot of that stuff in between Kenya and what happens is that you don't -- very much so your diet has to change it's not. The nine surgery this is you know it's more common now than it ever used to be. But there -- a lot more people who are morbidly obese than there ever were before it was -- so it in it in in giving involves some post surgery changes in lifestyle. And that's one of the things that was measured in this study -- us. Area study and then it found -- me if I'm wrong about the other family members have benefited from one family member getting the senator -- from one family member and like lifestyle has to be changed persons not going to be able to bmg and things like that there's going to be a lot of serious consequences if that you have. And remember you're not absorbing anything so it's gonna go right through right on untreated -- -- but also this is sort of that surgery that you don't do -- everything else is pale and so it's it's sort of like you get scared straight to you know and that means that everybody kind of has to be called in. And usually before the surgery people are given you know diet and lifestyle counseling ahead of time and also after the surgery to deal with all the issues that crop up right. The study found was in an awful lot of the extended family members while the the -- that -- particular husbands and also in many cases the children. Also experienced benefits now in case of the family members the adult family members. Very very statistically significant decrease in. Waist circumference which shows body fat -- half lower body mass index showing -- lower. Basically -- west and also it showed that significant improvements in received. Like physical activity levels and also. And less emotional eating right less binge eating things like that and they're also report that they're eating healthier diet. So -- has a lifestyle change that happened right spread to the whole family it did and for the children as well it wasn't quite as statistically significant -- -- it's called. The trend -- significance which means. That's not. Proven but it's probably wanted to write critical and unexpected benefit let out one person having the surgery exactly probably because you have to change what's accessible -- the household you change activity level. There's no more you know sitting around doing nothing for -- weekends on and I don't hold -- the kind of gets involved the kids can't to a lot of you know -- you know snacking on locale in a low nutrient high calorie food they think that's what. -- environment of the -- changes now -- is the reverse possible if one person has a very hard time with -- and it is -- Is the whole family likely to be a -- well that's sort of the question that's been argued for decades since I was in graduate right. Is it -- is it is it -- -- nature vs nurture my genetics is -- environment it's probably. A little about us now -- genetic pool has really changed in many many hundreds of years. So sunk if there is a genetic component it's probably are changing environment that's allowing it to be expressed more suppose you have genetic predisposition to obesity but you have -- very. I'm highly physically active demanding job at it keep that in check nowadays you don't necessarily have some crops up a lot more to take away here on the study what can we apply to our -- -- -- -- -- from me was that. What parents do really matters to their kids and parents can be -- -- parents are role models we wanted to be good ones and there are few things that everybody can do as parents to help you know improve the lacks talent and the dietary you know habits of their family. And one of them is certainly eat breakfast penalty of people who maintain their weight. Almost always eat breakfast and a regular basis. And also and people who lost weight they maintain that weight loss by eating breakfast also. Be a role model -- like if you want don't ask your kids to do something you wouldn't do I can't sit there and overheat and -- eat your veggies. Also -- family when He is a family there's a lot more attention to healthier eating. And even if you have some some pre prepared foods of things like that if you eat together as a family -- eat healthier meal. And also -- more these people moved as a family to -- -- what we're physically -- doing exercise go to the gym but just walk around the block whatever it is it doesn't have to be organized team sports I don't want people thinking well we can't be -- they can't put my -- into karate or after school sports. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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