Gender Disparity: Bariatric Surgery Much Less Common in Men


A recent study published in the March 2015 edition of the Journal of Laparoendoscopic & Advanced Surgical Techniques found that men are far less likely to undergo bariatric surgery than women. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a number of factors, including culture, socioeconomic status, and demographics, contribute to a large gender disparity between United States men and women who choose to undergo bariatric surgery.

Despite having equal rates of obesity between US men and women, an astonishing 80 percent of bariatric surgery patients are women. These surgeries include procedures to limit food consumption as well as reduce food absorption.

The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine took into account a large number of non-biological factors that may be causing men to avoid bariatric surgery. Factors identified include insurance coverage, a perception of body image, age, surgery eligibility and health awareness.

Researchers also examined data from 190,705 U.S. patients who had weight loss surgery (93 percent gastric bypass, 7 percent sleeve gastrectomy) between the years of 1998-2010. One study pointed out, in particular, was a 2014 study conducted at Kansas State University. Researchers found significant differences in the health satisfaction of obese women and men.

Researchers found that 72.8 percent–94 percent of obese men were satisfied with their health opposed to 56.7 percent–85 percent of obese women.

Researchers also believe that part of the gender disparity issue is the result of culture. Women have a tendency to be much more aware of the health concerns associated with obesity. Women are also much more likely to explore bariatric surgery options at a much younger age than men. Men have a tendency to wait until they are experiencing adverse health conditions to explore surgical options.

Researchers believe that this study should bring awareness to the health of obese men and the health risks and complications associated with being considered obese. If you’ve recently undergone bariatric surgery or are considering bariatric surgery, check out Bariatric Advantage products, a complete line of products designed to meet the needs of bariatric surgery patients. Bariatric surgery helps to improve medical conditions associated with being obese. Bariatric surgery can help to control arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. Researchers are encouraging men to be aware of these facts and take action in order to control their obesity.

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  • Nashua Nutrition Admin