The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases recently awarded $1.3 million to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in New York and The Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island to investigate the predictors of weight loss in obese patients who undergo bariatric surgery.
“Very little is known about why some people are more successful than others at keeping weight off after having bariatric surgery,” Dale Bond, PhD, of The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, said in a news release. “Behavioral factors are thought to be very influential, but guidelines for behavior changes among bariatric surgery patients are often vague and not well supported by scientific research. Our goal is to collect data to improve behavioral guidelines and help increase weight loss after bariatric surgery.”
In the new research, nearly 100 patients eligible for bariatric surgery will be monitored prior to surgery and then followed four times throughout the year following surgery. All patients are required to wear sensor devices resembling wristwatches and use smartphones for a close monitor of their eating, hunger and cravings, mood, and physical activity behavior. The researchers are expecting to begin the recruitment of patients in early 2016.
“This study is exciting because this could lead to improve behavioral guidelines and new behavioral treatments, strategies and tools to maximize weight loss after bariatric surgery,” said Graham Thomas, PhD, also of The Miriam Hospital’s center.
The research is an extension of one study that is currently being conducted by Drs. Thomas and Bond, where the researchers are using real-time information to examine weight-related behaviors associated with bariatric surgery.
“Not enough research has been conducted on behavioral, psychological and environmental predictors of weight loss after bariatric surgery,” Dr. Bond said. “This study will help to fill the gap using a unique and highly innovative mobile health platform combining sensor technology with a smartphone-based, self-reporting tool to measure behavioral, psychological and environmental predictors of weight loss continuously — in real time — in the patient’s natural environment.”