Binge eating in surgical weight-loss treatments. Long-term associations with weight loss, health related quality of life (HRQL), and psychopathology

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BACKGROUND: Studies that have investigated the relationship between binge eating and the long-term outcome of bariatric surgery have shown mixed results. Does binge eating affect long-term BMI, health-related quality of life (HRQL), or psychopathology after surgery? METHODS: We assessed 173 bariatric patients before and three years after weight loss surgery with regard to weight, binge eating, HRQL, and psychopathology. RESULTS: Binge eating before and after weight loss surgery was unrelated to long-term BMI outcome. Binge eating after weight loss surgery was associated with more psychopathology and lower HRQL. CONCLUSIONS: Binge eating before or after weight loss surgery does not predict long-term BMI outcome. Therefore, exclusions from surgery for this reason alone are difficult to motivate. However, results show that binge eating after weight loss surgery is common and is associated with more psychopathology and lower HRQL, which might increase the vulnerability for future weight regain and complications beyond the follow-up period of the present study. The high rate of binge eating after surgery and its negative association with HRQL and psychopathology suggest that we need to be observant of the occurrence and potential effects of binge eating in the context of bariatric surgery.