25 September 2020

Surge In Demand For Weight Loss Surgery As Experts Predict ‘Slimming Season’


Lockdown and possible ‘second wave’ prompt Brits to tackle obesity.

A leading provider of bariatric surgery has revealed a spike in enquiries for weight loss solutions as the UK enters a so-called ‘slimming season’. 

Since mid-May 2020 – when the coronavirus lockdown began to ease – Transform Hospital Group has seen enquiries related to elective weight loss surgery and other interventions increase by more than a quarter. 

The group’s weight loss experts believe a ‘perfect storm’ of contributing factors have prompted those whose BMI sees them classed as ‘obese’, to take action to tackle potential related health complications. 

George Hamlyn Williams, Principle Dietitian at Transform Hospital Group, said: “Over the past three months, we’ve seen 26 per cent more enquiries regarding elective weight loss surgery and interventions – that’s a big spike. 

“We believe there are a number of reasons more people are getting in touch with us to start their weight loss journey – not least the link between obesity and the increased risk of COVID-19 complications. Talk of a second wave of coronavirus come winter has prompted patients to act now while there is a potential window to undergo treatment before any future lockdown. 

For other individuals living with obesity, lockdown has led to additional weight gain, isolation and deterioration of their physical and mental health, giving them the impetus to reach out for help. These patients have become more aware of the risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancers and strokes and want to make a decisive change in their lifestyle for their long-term health. 

Another factor is finance. Many people may have considered elective weight loss surgery but have been constrained by cost. This year, holidays have been cancelled and lockdown has reduced day-to-day spending for many – so particularly for those who have continued to work during the pandemic, more disposable income has made surgery a plausible option for those who may have previously considered it out of their reach. 

We have also found that some people who are overweight and have become more so during lockdown may be thinking about improving their lifestyles ahead of travelling next year. For many people, bariatric surgery is one of many steps to a complete lifestyle change for the better – in fact, we’ve seen examples of this in the celebrity world recently, like Kelly Osbourne. 

“All of this has resulted in a ‘slimming season’ from now through the Autumn, when this surge of patients will undergo treatment.” 

Research shows bariatric surgery outcomes include dramatically improving or even immediately reversing type two diabetes, significant early and sustained weight loss, a reduction in heart attacks, development of diabetes, cancers and strokes, and increased life expectancy. Procedures include gastric band, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass operations.