Obesity Surgery

, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 405-413

First online:

Eating Behavior and the Experience of Hunger Following Gastric Bypass Surgery for Morbid Obesity

  • Catherine R DelinAffiliated with
  • , James McK WattsAffiliated with
  • , Judith L SaebelAffiliated with
  • , Paul G AndersonAffiliated with

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Background: Numerous different factors may contribute to the varying degrees of success observed following gastric bypass surgery. It is likely that alterations in the subjective experiences of hunger and satiety, as well as behavioral factors, are important. Our aim was to investigate the association of several factors, including qualitative aspects of hunger and satiety, eating patterns, and the emotional valence of different foods, to the weight loss that occurred following obesity surgery. Methods: A questionnaire covering aspects of hunger, eating and satiety was administered to three groups: (1) a group of people who had undergone gastric bypass surgery with an acceptable weight loss; (2) a morbidly obese group of patients prior to their surgical intervention; (3) a group of people of normal weight. Results: There were significant differences amongst the three groups in scoring on standardized eating disorder scales, in the amount they could eat, and in the experience of hunger. The presurgery, waiting-list group was more receptive to food-related than interoceptive cues when deciding to stop eating. ‘Eating styles’ also differed across the groups. Conclusions: It is concluded that changes in specific food-related behaviors and other psychological variables interact with the physical restriction to eating. The relative weighting of other variables needs further exploration.

Gastric bypass morbid obesity hunger/satiety eating success predictors