Finding a food store within a short walking distance of your home after bariatric surgery may be an important factor in maintaining your weight loss, according to a recent study.
The studies were posted in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases and Obesity Surgery.
However, studies show that proximity to a food store — especially one that sells mostly highly processed convenience foods — is no guarantee of long-term weight loss.
Patients who lived closer to food stores two years after bariatric surgery fared better in a statistical analysis of hundreds of cases in central Ohio.
While living within five minutes of a store with a high-quality selection of foods was associated with more weight loss at the two-year post-operative point, living within five minutes of a store with a low-quality selection of foods was associated with less weight loss.
Two years after bariatric surgery, the research team analyzed the influence of neighborhood characteristics and other social determinants of health on patients’ ability to maintain their weight loss.
Selected information from the medical records of all Franklin County, Ohio patients who underwent bariatric surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center between 2015 and 2019 was used for the analysis. Race, insurance coverage, procedure, and percent body fat lost between two and 24 months after surgery were all measured.
By combining health records with census and county data, the research team was able to determine not only how many grocery stores, parks, and gyms there were in the county, but also their exact locations in relation to patients’ homes.
“Overall, living in proximity to low diversity (LD) selection stores was a better predictor of postoperative weight loss over 24 months than living within proximity of moderate to high (M/HD) selection stores.”