Background: This study evaluated the social environment of bariatric surgery patients in the preoperative period. Methods: Forty bariatric surgery patients (mean = 46.2 ± 11.2 years), 35 adult cohabitating family members (mean = 45.2 ± 12.7 years), and 15 cohabitating children (mean = 11.5 ± 3.6 years) were recruited from a large rural medical center. Adult participants (patients and family members) completed height, weight, body composition, blood draws, and physical activity assessments (accelerometry), as well as eating behavior and social support inventories before the patient underwent bariatric surgery. Child participants completed demographic, height, and weight assessment only. Results: Over 90 % of adult family members were overweight or obese (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2, as were 50 % of children (BMI percentile ≥ 85 %). More than one third (37.1 %) of family members met the criteria for moderate to severe insulin resistance. Physical activity measured by accelerometry was moderately correlated between the patient and adult family members (r = 0.46, p = 0.023). Bariatric surgery patients reported high levels of social support from their family members on multiple social support measures. Conclusions: Many family members of bariatric surgery patients also lived with obesity and related comorbidities, and demonstrate high sedentary behavior. However, patients reported high levels of support from family members, including support in following a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity. Engaging families in behavior change may help bariatric surgery patients and their families to become healthier.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics