A Longitudinal Preliminary Study of Addiction-Like Responses to Food and Alcohol Consumption Among Individuals Undergoing Weight Loss Surgery

  • Susan M. MurrayEmail author
  • S. Tweardy
  • Allan Geliebter
  • Nicole M. Avena
Brief Communication


Reductions in addiction-like food behaviors and increases in alcohol intake have been reported after weight loss surgery. However, no studies have tracked these measures in combination and prospectively. In this preliminary study, 27 participants underwent bariatric surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) (n = 10) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG) (n = 6)), dietary weight loss (n = 6), or no treatment (n = 5). Participants were weighed, completed the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS), and reported alcohol intake frequency before intervention and at 4 and 24 months after baseline. At 24 months, only the surgery group showed significant reductions in BMI. Between baseline and 24 months, YFAS scores decreased (p = .006) and alcohol intake increased in the surgery group (p = .005). Significant changes were not observed in the diet or no treatment groups.


Obesity Weight loss surgery Food addiction Alcohol 



This research study was supported by NIH Grant DA-03123 (NMA), NIH grant R01DK080153 (AG), and Kildehoj-Santini (NMA).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval Statement

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.

Informed Consent Statement

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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Pharmacology and Systems TherapeuticsIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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