Gastric bypass surgery linked to food aversion, say scientists

28 July 2011

A study in the US appears to suggest that common types of bariatric surgery, such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedures, may affect the production of hormones linked to food aversion and taste.

While the effects of weight loss surgery are often clear visibly, it is not fully understood exactly why and how people lose, and continue to keep off, weight through the procedure.

The research - which appears in the American Journal of Physiology - gathered data from a comparative study of questionnaire results from humans before and after the gastric band surgery.

It also involved trials with animals to determine whether weight loss was linked to particular tastes and preferences of food, or whether it was down to purely physical means of feeling less hungry.

Levels of the hormone associated with food aversion were higher in the animals who had the procedure, while human results recorded a significant reduction in dietary fat intake from those people who had a gastric bypass as opposed to a gastroplasty.

Dr Carel le Roux from London's Imperial Weight Centre, who led the study, said: "It appears that after bypass surgery, patients become hungry for good food and avoid junk food not because they have to, but because they just don't like it any more."

The report follows findings published earlier this week in the Postgraduate Medical Journal that showed the NHS is feebly prepared for the needs of obese patients, lacking dedicated staff training and equipment across the British healthcare system.

Posted by Philip Briggs.


1 le Roux, C.W., et al. ‘Gastric bypass reduces fat intake and preference.’ American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology. Wednesday July 27th 2011.


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