Obesity Surgery

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 421–426 | Cite as

Perceived Social Support for Exercise and Weight Loss in Adolescents Undergoing Sleeve Gastrectomy

  • Eleanor Race Mackey
  • Alexandra Olson
  • Stephanie Merwin
  • Jichuan Wang
  • Evan P. Nadler
Original Contributions



Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for youth with severe obesity. However, outcomes are variable and there remains sparse understanding of predictors of weight loss following surgery. The current study examines the role of adolescent-reported pre-operative social support around exercise, binge eating, and exercise to predict excess body mass index (EBMI) loss from 3 to 12 months post-surgery.


Participants were 101 adolescents ages 12–21 (M age = 16.6, SD = 1.8). Pre-operative body mass index (BMI) ranged from 35 to 87 (M = 50.3, SD = 8.6). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to evaluate a model of the association of adolescent report of perceived social support for exercise with less binge eating (items from the Eating Disorder Diagnostic Scale) and more self-reported exercise (items from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System). The model was used to predict EBMI loss at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post-surgery.


Social support significantly predicted exercise and demonstrated a trend for predicting binge eating, such that more social support was associated with more exercise and a trend for less binge eating. Binge eating was associated with less EBMI loss. However, there was no association of exercise with EBMI loss.


Pre-operative binge eating should be a target for identification and treatment prior to sleeve gastrectomy in adolescents. Although not directly or indirectly associated with EBMI loss, perceived social support around exercise was associated with increased exercise, which may make it a consideration for a target for intervention as well.


Obesity Bariatric surgery Social support Exercise Binge eating Adolescents 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Statement of Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleanor Race Mackey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexandra Olson
    • 1
  • Stephanie Merwin
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jichuan Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Evan P. Nadler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Children’s Research InstituteChildren’s National Health SystemWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.The George Washington University School of MedicineWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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