Background Food cravings are more prevalent and potentially problematic for many individuals with obesity. Initial evidence suggests that bariatric surgery has some short-term beneficial effects on cravings in adults, but little is known about the effect on adolescents or the trajectory beyond 6 months. Methods The purpose of the present study was to determine the longitudinal effect of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) on food cravings in a sample of adolescents with severe obesity (body mass index (BMI) ≥40 kg/m2). Sixteen adolescents were recruited and underwent RYGB. Participants completed the Food Craving Inventory before RYGB, and 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months postoperatively. The present study took place in a single pediatric tertiary care hospital. Results RYGB produced a negative (cravings decreased as time increased) nonlinear trend for total food cravings as well as for each individual subscale (sweets, high fat foods, carbohydrates, fast food) over the 24-month study period. This means that while cravings decrease postsurgically, there is a decline in the slope with the line reaching asymptote at approximately 18 months. BMI change was not a significant predictor of food cravings, but low statistical power may account for this lack of significance. Conclusion These findings provide preliminary evidence that RYGB decreases food cravings in adolescents.
- Food cravings
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