1. In this cross-sectional study, spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, and being involved at one’s place of worship were associated with better outcomes after bariatric surgery, including higher percent weight loss (%WL), improved eating adherence, and increased physical activity.
2. In addition, the majority of participants believed that spirituality did or could impact their weight loss after bariatric surgery.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Spirituality has been shown to be correlated with several health-related behaviors including reduced substance use and increased physical activity. However, little is known about the influence of spirituality on weight management. As a result, the objective of the present study was to investigate the role of spirituality on lifestyle changes and weight management in the years following bariatric surgery.
Patients who had recently undergone bariatric surgery at a bariatric center in the United States were contacted. Of 1,129 patients who were contacted, 152 (64.5% Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, 32.9% sleeve gastrectomy) were included between February 2019 and September 2019. A questionnaire was developed to assess participants’ spiritual practices and health-related behaviors following bariatric surgery. In addition, the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS) was used to measure spirituality and religiousness related to physical health. Questionnaires were administered 1-2 years postoperatively. Pearson correlations were used to examine associations between spiritual practices and outcome variables. The primary outcomes were percent weight loss (%WL) and percent excess weight loss (%EWL) after bariatric surgery.
The results demonstrated that the majority of bariatric surgery patients believed that spirituality did or could improve weight loss after their surgery. In addition, multiple spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, and being involved at one’s place of worship were associated with better outcomes after bariatric surgery, including higher %WL, higher %EWL, healthy eating, and physical activity. Despite these results, the study was limited by a sample size derived from a single center which may limit generalizability. Nonetheless, the present study presented evidence of the benefit of spirituality on lifestyle behaviors and weight outcomes following bariatric surgery.
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