Although weight loss surgery is a highly effective treatment for obesity, it can be detrimental to bone health. A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research suggests that exercise may help address this shortcoming.
The study randomized 84 patients undergoing weight loss surgery to an exercise group or a control group for 11 months. The exercise group performed high impact, balance, and resistance exercises three times per week.
Twelve months after surgery, participants in the exercise group had higher bone mineral density measurements at the lumbar spine and the forearm compared with those in the control group. Also, participants who attended at least half of the exercise sessions had higher bone mineral density at the femoral neck than those in the control group.
“These findings showed that a structured exercise program may be a valid treatment option to minimize weight loss surgery-induced bone loss, which may be particularly important since many patients undergo surgery in early adulthood or even at pediatric ages,” said lead author Florêncio Diniz-Sousa, MSc, of the University of Porto, in Portugal. “As stated in recently released World Health Organization physical activity guidelines, regular exercise should be a priority for everyone, including patients who have undergone weight loss surgery.”