Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The nature of food cravings following weight-loss surgery

By Heidi Michelle Guthrie


Despite the rise in obesity in western society, the nature of food cravings in individuals who have undergone weight-loss surgery has been relatively unstudied. This study aimed to provide a detailed analysis of the experience of food craving comparing groups of participants according to a) time post-surgery and b) type of surgical procedure. Two time groups emerged, those who were 3-8 months postsurgery\ud and those who were one year+ post-surgery. In terms of surgical procedure, those having purely restrictive procedures (i. e. gastric band) were compared with\ud those having both restrictive and malabsorptive procedures (i. e. Roux-en-Y).\ud \ud Twenty one participants completed the study (10 3-8 months post-surgery, 11 one year+ post-surgery) of these, 13 had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and 8 had a gastric band. All participants completed several questionnaires over a seven-day period. Measures included a food intake dairy, daily questionnaires, food craving records and a background questionnaire.\ud \ud The frequency and intensity of food cravings did not differ significantly between groups but were thought to reflect higher levels than those reported by healthy women in other studies. Antecedents to the craving, target of food craving,\ud situational context, time and interpersonal context did not differ between groups. Differences in the emotional context of craving versus non-craving days were found, some of which interacted with time post-surgery and surgery type.\ud \ud This quasi-prospective study provides preliminary support for the existence of cravings within a group of participants having had weight-loss surgery, which are\ud hunger-reducing experiences, related to negative mood states. It also offers insight into the persistent implication of food cravings in disordered eating symptomology more prevalent within weight-loss surgery groups

Publisher: School of Medicine (Leeds)
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1984). 5-Hydroxytryptaline: A modulator of food composistion but not quantity? Life Sciences,
  2. (1992). A prospective randomized trial (PRT) of gastric bypass (GB) versus vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) for morbid obesity (MO). doi
  3. (1998). A review of cost-of-illness studies on obesity. Clinical Therapy, doi
  4. (1983). Alcohol and food abuse: Some comparisons. doi
  5. (1995). An exploration of the outcome of gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity: Patient characteristics and indices of success. doi
  6. (1982). Appetite suppressant activity in plasma of rats after intestinal bypass surgery.
  7. (2004). Binge eating and its relationship to outcome after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. Obesity Surgery, doi
  8. (1999). Binge eating in gastric bypass patients before surgery. Obesity Surgery, doi
  9. (2007). Binge eating in the bariatric surgery population: A review of the literature. doi
  10. (1971). Brain serotonin content: Increase following ingestion of carbohydrate diet. doi
  11. (2000). Central nervous system control of food intake.
  12. (2004). Chanes in bone mineral content after surgical treatment of morbid obesity. doi
  13. (2004). Changes of body weight and plasma ghrelin levels after gastric banding and gastric bypass. doi
  14. (1985). Characteristics of 275 patients with bulimia. doi
  15. (2003). Characteristics of morbidly obese patients before gastric bypass surgery. doi
  16. (1989). Chemical dependency and eating disorders: Are they really so different? doi
  17. (1971). Cravings and aversions during pregnancy. doi
  18. (1986). Dietary restraint: A theoretical and empirical review. doi
  19. (1997). Eating behavior and the experience of hunger following bypass surgery for morbid obesity. Obesity Surgery, doi
  20. (2004). Effect of duodenal-jejunal exclusion in a nonobese animal model of type 2 diabetes: a new perspective for an old disease. doi
  21. (2003). Effect of laparoscopic Rouxen Y gastric bypass on type 2 diabetes mellitus. doi
  22. (1977). Effects of degree of obesity, age of onset, and weight loss on responsiveness to sensory and external stimuli. doi
  23. (1993). Effects on food cravings of a very low calorie diet or a balanced, low calorie diet. doi
  24. (1998). Emotional states and bulimic psychopathology. In
  25. (1991). Food craving, dietary restraint and mood. doi
  26. (1991). Food cravings in a college population. doi
  27. (1991). Food cravings in relation to body mass index, restraint and estradiol leves: A repeated measures study in healthy women. doi
  28. (1987). Food cravings, mood and the menstrual cycle. Hormones and Behavior, doi
  29. (2001). Forbidden fruit: Does thinking about a prohibited food lead to its consumption? doi
  30. (1997). Functional assessment and binge eating: A review of the literature and suggestions for future research. Behavior Modification, doi
  31. (2008). Grazing and loss of control related to eating: two high-risk factors following bariatric surgery. doi
  32. (2001). Guidance on applying for R&D approval is available from httpJAwm. niforum. nhs. uk/rdform. hbm Statement of compliance The Committee is constituted to accordance with the Governance Arrangements for Research Ethics Committees
  33. (2006). Gut hormone profiles following bariatric surgery favor an anorectic sate, facillitate weight loss, and improve metabolic parameters. doi
  34. (2004). Health survey for England
  35. (1987). Horizontal or vertical banded gastroplasty after pretreatment with very-low-calorie formula diet: a randomized trial.
  36. (2004). Hormonal changes after Roux-en Y gastric bypass for morbid obesity and the control of type-II diabetes mellitus.
  37. (1982). How patients describe bulimia or binge eating. doi
  38. (1972). Hunger, obesity and the wentromedical hypothalamus. doi
  39. (1990). Hunger/craving responses and reactivity to food stimuli during fasting and dieting.
  40. (1999). Ilial transportation and enteroglucagon/GLP-1 in obesity (and diabetic? ) surgery. Obesity Surgery, doi
  41. (1997). Impact of definition on prevalence of food cravings in a random sample of young women. doi
  42. (2002). Impact of gastric banding on eating behavior and weight. Obesity Surgery, doi
  43. (2001). Internal and external antecedents of binge eating episodes in a group of women with bulimia nervosa. doi
  44. (1987). Less food, less hunger: Reports of appetite amd symptoms in a controlled study of protein-sparing modified fast.
  45. (1987). Long-term (5 year) results after either horizontal gastroplasty or very-low-calorie diet for morbid obesity.
  46. (2001). Long-term follow-up of patients' status after gastric bypass. Obesity Surgery, doi
  47. (1997). Menstrual regulation and appetite control: Implications for weight regulation. doi
  48. (1995). Mood modulation by food: An exploration of affect and craving in 'chocolate addicts'. doi
  49. (1998). Nonsurgical factors that influence the outcome of bariatric surgery: a review. Psychosomatic medicine, doi
  50. (2000). Obesity as a medical problem. doi
  51. (2002). Obesity: Keeping hunger at bay. doi
  52. (2002). Of human bondage: Food cravings, obsession, compulsion, and addiction.
  53. (2002). On the practice of dichotomization of quantitative variables. doi
  54. (1994). Pharmacological versus sensory factors in the satiation of chocolate craving. doi
  55. (2002). Plama ghrelin levels after diet-induced weight loss or gastric bypass surgery. doi
  56. (2004). Prevalence of overweight and obesity among US children, adolescents, and adults, doi
  57. (2004). Psychiatric diagnoses and psychiatric treatment among bariatric surgery candidates. Obesity Surgery, doi
  58. (1988). Psychological efects of dieting. doi
  59. (2000). Psychometric properties and factor structure of the Three-factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) in obese men and women. Results from the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study. doi
  60. (2002). Sex hormone-binding globulin levels and cardiovascular risk factors in morbidly obese subjects before and after weight reduction inducd by diet or malabsorptive surgery. doi
  61. (2003). Surgery as intervention for obesity. Results from the Swedish obese subjects study. doi
  62. (2005). Surgery for morbid obesity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews(3). doi
  63. (1995). Surgery for obesityAn update of a randomized trial. doi
  64. (1992). Surgical treatment of obesity and its effect on diabetes: 10-y follow-up.
  65. (1998). Swedish obese subjects (SOS) -an intervention study of obesity. Two-year follow-up of health related quality of life (HRQL) and eating behavior after gastric surgery for severe obesity. doi
  66. (1991). Temporal patterns of hunger and fullness ratings and related cognitions in anorexia and bulimia. doi
  67. (1950). The Biology of Human Starvation.
  68. (1994). The experience of food craving: a prospective investigation in healthy women. doi
  69. (1990). The Phenomenology of Food Cravings. doi
  70. (2007). The psychology of food craving. doi
  71. (2003). The relationship between mood and food cravings in dieters.
  72. (1995). Who would have thought it? An operation proves to be the most effective therapy for adult-onset diabetes mellitus. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.