Eating disturbances in bariatric surgery patients: Relation to postoperative outcomes

Sarah Bernstein Selden, Fordham University


Although bariatric surgery has become a common procedure in the United States, long-term weight maintenance is not guaranteed. While psychological contributors to poor postoperative weight loss outcomes are not well-known, empirical evidence suggests that preoperative binge eating disturbances impact long-term surgery results. To date, studies have not proposed key features of binge eating in this population, nor explored how such features affect long-term postoperative weight loss. The current study employed a series of t-tests to examine differences between patients identified as preoperative binge eaters and non-binge eaters and as high and low postoperative restrictors. A simultaneous multiple regression was computed to examine a model of binge eating predictors in long-term postoperative bariatric surgery patients. Participants included 89 postoperative patients who completed questionnaires. Results partially supported the proposed model, indicating that postoperative negative emotional eating predicted poor postoperative weight loss. Preoperative binge eating and postoperative dietary restraint were not found to significantly predict weight loss, and no significant differences in weight loss or negative emotional eating were found for patients identified as binge and non-binge eaters and high and low restrictors. However, binge eaters engaged in significantly higher rates of postoperative negative emotional eating. These results suggest that negative emotional eating is a key feature of binge eating in this population. Treatment for binge eating in this population should therefore focus on identifying triggers. Given the recent inclusion of binge eating disorder in the DSM-5, future research should continue to investigate features of binge eating in obese bariatric surgery patients.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology

Recommended Citation

Selden, Sarah Bernstein, "Eating disturbances in bariatric surgery patients: Relation to postoperative outcomes" (2015). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3616860.