Taste, Enjoyment, and Desire of Flavors Change After Sleeve Gastrectomy-Short Term Results



Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) incidence continues to increase worldwide because of its efficacy and low surgical risks. This study aimed to investigate satisfaction with eating and the change in taste perception, desire, and enjoyment of flavor changes and associations with extent of percentage excess weight loss (%excess weight loss (EWL)) post-LSG.


One hundred six participants completed an online questionnaire 4 to 6 weeks as well as 6 to 8 months post-LSG bariatric surgery. The questionnaire included study-specific questions about changes in taste, desire, and enjoyment of eight major categories of flavor, as well as the Suter Quality of Alimentation Questionnaire to measure satisfaction with eating.


The majority of participants reported a post-surgery increase in the intensity of the flavor of sweet (60, 55%) and fatty (57, 70%) at both time points, respectively. Participants also reported a decreased enjoyment for sweet (77, 61%) and fatty (77, 83%) flavors and decreased desire for fatty (83, 84%) and sweet (82, 68%) flavors at both time periods. This study found an increase in intensity of flavor of all eight taste modalities and a decrease in desire and enjoyment of all taste modalities except salty and savory flavors following surgery. Participants reported an increased acuity of spicy flavors and fatty tastes over time, and the desire and enjoyment of sweet, bitter, and metallic flavors increased over time. Changes in savory enjoyment over a 6- to 8-month period post-LSG were weakly associated with extent of % EWL at 6 months post-surgery. The participants reported average (40, 37%), good (33, 42%), and excellent (15, 11%) satisfaction with eating at both time points.


This preliminary study indicates that subjective changes in taste, desire, and enjoyment of flavors of eight taste modalities are very common after LSG.

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We thank the participants for partaking in this study and the bariatric surgeons for allowing access to their patients for this research study.

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Correspondence to Michele A. Janse Van Vuuren.

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Ethics approval was obtained from the university’s Human Research Ethics Committee.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Van Vuuren, M.A.J., Strodl, E., White, K.M. et al. Taste, Enjoyment, and Desire of Flavors Change After Sleeve Gastrectomy-Short Term Results. OBES SURG 27, 1466–1473 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-016-2497-1

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  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Taste changes
  • Satisfaction with eating
  • Flavor
  • Desire
  • Enjoyment