Longitudinal trends in hedonic hunger after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in adolescents

Christopher C. Cushing, Stephen C. Benoit, James L. Peugh, Jennifer Reiter-Purtill, Thomas H. Inge, Meg H. Zeller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background Initial outcome studies have reported that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is safe and efficacious for adolescents with extreme obesity. Although rapid weight loss is seen initially, data also show that modest weight regain typically occurs as early as the second postoperative year. The contribution of various psychological factors, including hedonic hunger, to postoperative weight regain has not previously been studied in adolescents. The objective of this study was to examine the variability in hedonic hunger and body mass index (BMI) over the initial 2-year period of weight loss and modest weight regain in adolescent RYGB recipients. Methods A total of 16 adolescents completed the Power of Food Scale before surgery and at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months postoperatively. Height and weight were measured at each time point, from which BMI was calculated. Results Nonlinear trends were observed for time on both overall hedonic hunger and hedonic hunger specifically related to food available in the adolescent's environment. The BMI reduction during the first 18 months postoperatively was paralleled by reduction in hedonic hunger; increases in hedonic hunger also paralleled the modest BMI increase at 24 months. In growth analysis, significant power gains are available to models using 4 or more points of data. However, only large effect sizes that are>.85 were detectable with a sample of 16 patients. Conclusion These data provide preliminary evidence that hedonic hunger is in need of further study in adolescent patients receiving RYGB both preoperatively and postoperatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-year weight trajectory
  • Hedonic hunger
  • Multilevel modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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