Shifts in Food Preferences After Bariatric Surgery: Observational Reports and Proposed Mechanisms

Type Article

Journal Article


N. Kapoor; W. Al-Najim; C. W. le Roux; N. G. Docherty

Year of publication



Curr Obes Rep








PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment for obesity. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is the most commonly performed bariatric procedure and results in long-term weight loss. Alterations in food preference and choices may contribute to the long-term benefits of RYGB. This manuscript reviews the available literature documenting changes in food preference in both humans and experimental animals after RYGB and discusses the current theory on the underlying mechanisms involved. RECENT FINDINGS: Obesity is associated with an increased preference for sweet and high-fat foods, and the most consistent evidence has been the shift away from these calorie-dense foods in both animal and human studies after RYGB. Self-reporting is the most common method used to record food preferences in humans, while more direct approaches have been used in animal work. This methodological heterogeneity may give rise to inconsistent findings. Future studies in humans should focus on direct measures to permit corroboration of mechanistic insights gained from animal studies.