Pre-Operative Eating Behaviors: Do They Predict Weight Loss Results After Bariatric Surgery?
One of the challenging questions that many of us in the bariatric surgical field struggle with is trying to identify factors among the eating behaviors of prospective patients prior to surgery that might help us predict the success a patient can expect after surgery or, even better, allow some type of intervention-such as counseling or therapy of some sort- that can prove that outcome. Research studies have taken place that involve asking detailed questions about eating behavior of a large group of patients expected to undergo weight loss surgery and then compared the weight loss success afterward. For the most part, prospective studies aimed at assessing pre-operative problems such as binge eating disorder, reveal no real consistent predictors of post-surgical weight loss success. Binge eating disorder specifically is reduced markedly after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Probably because it just becomes much more difficult or impossible to consume large amounts of food in a single sitting.
In multiple prospective studies of numerous types of eating behavior disorders, including binge eating disorder, all patients experience a significant and marked weight reduction after weight loss surgery with both Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. In some programs, historically, binge eating disorder has been considered a reason to exclude people from surgery, a practice that is clearly ill-advised given the very poor success of non-surgical weight loss efforts among binge eaters.
We will explore more details of eating behavior and psychology as it relates to weight loss surgery and medical weight loss programs in other posts. The bottom line is that these eating behavior problems are common, but are not a reason to exclude someone from weight loss surgery or from medically supervised weight loss. On the contrary, they are simply characteristics to be identified and then acknowledged as deserving of more help, counseling and support.