It remains challenging for doctors to identify which obese patients will succeed in losing weight after undergoing bariatric surgery. Although numerous studies have attempted to identify preoperative patient characteristics associated with successful weight loss surgery, the roles that many dietary and psychological characteristics play in successful weight loss outcomes are unclear. In a recent study published in the Journal of Surgical Research, a team of researchers uncovered new insights into these knowledge gaps, finding that following bariatric surgery, factors such as soda consumption habits are inversely associated with successful weight loss.
Often referred to simply as “gastric bypass,” Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is a type of weight-loss surgery that reduces the size of the stomach to a small pouch, reducing the amount of food a person can consume at meals. The surgeon then attaches this pouch directly to the small intestine, bypassing most of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. This reduces the amount of fat and calories the patient can absorb from food, leading to increased weight loss.
Despite the generally favorable effects on weight loss for patients who undergo bariatric surgery, a wide spectrum of individual responses to the surgery has been reported, and the critical dietary and psychological characteristics that lead to the best weight loss outcomes remain unclear. For example, pre-operation behaviors such as binge eating, anxiety, and depression have been associated with suboptimal weight loss after bariatric surgery in some studies, while others have found these behaviors to be positive predictors of successful weight loss.
In order to examine the psychological and preoperative dietary predictors of weight loss success following bariatric surgery, in the study titled “Dietary and psych predictors of weight loss after gastric bypass,” Benjamin Fox from the Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison in Wisconsin and colleagues evaluated a total of 124 patients with obesity who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Reviewing patient medical records, the researchers assessed patients’ demographics, comorbidities, dietary and psychological factors, and weight loss outcomes.
Compared to patients who did not drink soda preoperatively or stopped by the date of surgery, patients who decreased soda consumption by >50% before surgery were less likely to be successful for weight loss success as were patients who decreased consumption by <50%. None of the psychological variables in the bivariate analysis were associated with weight loss success.
Concluding, of the 15 dietary and psychological characteristics investigated, only soda consumption predicted weight loss success after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The researchers indicate that the need of identifying strategies to improve weight loss after bariatric surgery for patients with type 2 diabetes should be a goal of future studies.
Based on these results, the researchers suggest that soda consumption needs to be addressed in patients prior to bariatric surgery and that they should be followed-up after the surgery in complete to maximize weight loss results.