Loss-of-Control Eating Pre- and Post-Bariatric Surgery in Teens
LewisFirst, MD, MA, Editor in Chief, Pediatrics
“Loss-of-Control” (LOC) eating is a behavior associated with obese adults seeking
bariatric surgery and has been associated with less successfully functional outcomes
following surgery if that behavior persists. What about adolescents seeking this surgery?
Do they demonstrate LOC eating behaviors as well and if so, do they persist post-operatively?
Goldschmidt et al. (10.1542/peds.2017-1659) have made an effort to answer this question by sharing longitudinal results on over
200 adolescents ages 13-19 who underwent bariatric surgery in 5 sites and were followed
up to 4 years post-operatively. The authors note that continuous LOC eating was experienced
by a little over a quarter of the sample (27.8%) pre-operatively and improved post-operatively
when the sample was surveyed at 6 months, but then began to increase at 1,2,3, and
4, years after their operation.
To no surprise, the return of this behavior affected long-term weight improvement
outcomes in those who still had LOC eating. What can we do about this to help these
teens maintain their lower BMIs post bariatric surgery? We encourage you to digest
the data and risk factors shared in this study and become more aware of LOC behaviors
so you can work with the bariatric team in your region to help your patients get the
behavioral counseling they need to overcome this behavior post-operatively and hopefully
pre-operatively as well.