Factors Associated with Favorable Changes in Food Preferences After Bariatric Surgery

Mette Skovgaard Nielsen*, Bodil Just Christensen, Christian Ritz, Lotte Holm, Susanne Lunn, Louise Tækker, Julie Berg Schmidt, Wender L.P. Bredie, Nicolai J. Wewer Albrechtsen, Jens J. Holst, Anja Hilbert, Carel W. le Roux, Anders Sjödin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Purpose: Bariatric surgery may shift food preferences towards less energy-dense foods. Eating behavior is multifactorial, and the mechanisms driving changes in food preferences could be a combination of a physiological response to surgery and social and psychological factors. This exploratory study aimed to identify potential factors explaining the variation in changes in food preferences after bariatric surgery.
Materials and methods: Physiological, social, and psychological data were collected before, 6 weeks or 6 months after surgery. All variables were analyzed in combination using LASSO regression to explain the variation in changes in energy density at an ad libitum buffet meal 6 months after bariatric surgery (n=39).
Results: The following factors explained 69% of the variation in changes in food preferences after surgery and were associated with more favorable changes in food preferences (i.e., a larger decrease in energy density): female gender, increased secretion of glicentin, a larger decrease in the hedonic rating of sweet and fat and a fatty cocoa drink, a lower number of recent life crises, a low degree of social eating pressure, fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder, less effort needed to obtain preoperative weight loss, a smaller household composition, a lower degree of self-efficacy and a higher degree of depression, nutritional regime competence, and psychosocial risk level.
Conclusion: Factors explaining the variation in altered food preferences after bariatric surgery not only include a physiological response to surgery but also social and psychological factors. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]
Original languageEnglish
JournalObesity Surgery
Pages (from-to)3514–3524
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Eating behavior
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Food choice
  • Cross-disciplinary research


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