Current Obesity Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 246–252 | Cite as

Shifts in Food Preferences After Bariatric Surgery: Observational Reports and Proposed Mechanisms

  • Natasha Kapoor
  • Werd Al-Najim
  • Carel W. le Roux
  • Neil G. Docherty
Health Services and Programs (R Welbourn, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Health Services and Programs


Purpose of Review

Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment for obesity. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is the most commonly performed bariatric procedure and results in long-term weight loss. Alterations in food preference and choices may contribute to the long-term benefits of RYGB. This manuscript reviews the available literature documenting changes in food preference in both humans and experimental animals after RYGB and discusses the current theory on the underlying mechanisms involved.

Recent Findings

Obesity is associated with an increased preference for sweet and high-fat foods, and the most consistent evidence has been the shift away from these calorie-dense foods in both animal and human studies after RYGB. Self-reporting is the most common method used to record food preferences in humans, while more direct approaches have been used in animal work. This methodological heterogeneity may give rise to inconsistent findings.


Future studies in humans should focus on direct measures to permit corroboration of mechanistic insights gained from animal studies.


Food preferences RYGB Bariatric surgery Gut hormones Taste 



Funding at the Dublin laboratory arose from a Science Foundation Ireland President of Ireland Young Researcher Award to C.W. le Roux (12/YI/B2480) and the Health Research Board (USIRL-2016-2). C.W. le Roux (PI) and N.G. Docherty are coinvestigators on a grant from the Swedish Research Council (Medicine and Health) (2015-02733) at the University of Gothenburg.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Natasha Kapoor declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Werd Al-Najim declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Carel W. le Roux has received compensation from NovoNordisk, Johnson & Johnson and GI Dynamics for service on advisory boards and speaker’s honorarium from MSD.

Neil G. Docherty declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of Importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natasha Kapoor
    • 1
  • Werd Al-Najim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carel W. le Roux
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Neil G. Docherty
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Diabetes Complications Research Centre, Conway Institute, School of Medicine and Medical SciencesUniversity College DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.Investigative ScienceImperial College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Gastrosurgical Research and Education, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska AcademyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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