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Addictive Personality and Maladaptive Eating Behaviors in Adults Seeking Bariatric Surgery

Posted Dec 20 2011 11:14am

There was another new study analyzing the people who are seeking bariatric surgery and whether there are maladaptive or disordered eating behaviors. I continue to read these, and think “OK people - it is time to address this!” We need to have more screening for people who are seeking bariatric surgery to see if there are underlying disordered behaviors that need to be addressed, because a surgery like this (or any other surgery or cosmetic procedure) will NOT solve the underlying issues and struggles an individual may or may not be having.

To be clear: I know not all people who seek bariatric surgery are disordered, or have a diagnosable condition. However – this is why screening is SO important. We need to have a procedure in place that can help guide primary physicians and specialists to help guide the patient in their own best interests, including both physical and mental health, because they are intertwined, and we cannot afford to separate them any longer. I worry about the commercials and ad campaigns that surround this procedure/surgery because I do not think it addresses any concerns, and makes it seem as simple as an office visit. The images and messages that go along with bariatric surgery are UGH at the very least, making the focus of health on weight loss, which many of you know I will say is NOT the entire complex picture of health. Blah.

As for bariatric surgery in general – I know some of you may wonder about my position on it and I think I will just say this – I know it is extremely dangerous, a last resort in many cases, and have heard of some terrible personal stories from people who have gone through this. I have heard these surgeries go on to trigger people into disordered eaing, and overall I need to say – I am not a Doctor, and honestly bariatric surgery is not my area of expertise. I do think screening for disordered behavior is in my area, so I will leave my comments and opinions in that area :)

If you are unfamiliar with what bariatric surgery is – here is a wiki link sharing the brief overview.  There are a lot of studies on bariatric surgery, its effectiveness or not, and if you are interested I recommend you reading up on the studies!!

Here is the new study summary for those who are interested:

Addictive personality and maladaptive eating behaviors in adults seeking bariatric surgery.

Eat Behav. 2012 Jan;13(1):67-70. Epub  2011 Oct 20.

Department of Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, United States.

This study examined the relationship between addictive personality and maladaptive eating behaviors in bariatric surgery candidates. Ninety-seven bariatric surgery candidates completed the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R) Addiction Scale, the Overeating Questionnaire (OQ), binge-eating questions from the Questionnaire of Eating and Weight Patterns (QEWP-R), and the Eating Attitudes and Behaviors Questionnaire. Participants with Binge Eating Disorder (BED) displayed addictive personality scores comparable to individuals addicted to substances (M=17.5, SD=5.3). Addictive personality was associated with Overeating (r=.45, p<.001), Cravings (r=.31, p=.005), Affective Disturbances (r=.62, p<.001) and Social Isolation (r=.53, p<.001). Addictive personality was associated with maladaptive eating behaviors, suggesting the potential for addictive eating.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - in process]
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