Benefits of gastric bypass surgery linked to changes in sweet taste preference

July 18, 2017

Worldwide, the number of patients struggling with obesity is rapidly increasing in both adults and children. Diet and exercise are the mainstays of treatment for obesity, but have limited effectiveness. While bariatric surgery can produce sustained and significant weight loss for most patients, not all patients experience similar benefits. The reasons for this variation are unknown, but researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine believe that part of the answer may lie in how taste preferences are altered by weight loss surgery. Kimberley Steele MD PhD, Principal Investigator and Director of Bariatric Research at Hopkins, was inspired to investigate this phenomenon after observing that her gastric bypass patients had a heightened sensitivity to sweet foods after surgery. Dr. Steele and her team of neuroscientists and imaging specialists hypothesized that the factors responsible for variation in weight loss following bariatric surgery may lie not just in the gut but also in the brain.

Dr. Steele's team studied taste preferences for sugars and fats in patients prior to surgery and up to 3 months after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) or vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). While both RYGB and VSG procedures reduce the size of the stomach, RYGB also reroutes the progression of food through the intestines. Thus it alters many of the gut responses that would usually be triggered during digestion. Their preliminary data show that all patients experienced a decrease in their liking of sweet taste, but a more pronounced effect was observed with RYGB. No changes in fat preference were observed in either group. "These preliminary data suggest that the changes in sweet taste preference in individuals who had RYGB may be driven by alterations in the reward value of food induced by the anatomical and/or metabolic changes that occur with RYGB." says Dr. Kimberly Smith, a postdoctoral fellow and co-investigator on the team.

A better understanding of what drives changes in diet selection following bariatric surgery may allow clinicians to predict which patients will respond best to different types of surgery, and may provide insight into the mechanisms responsible for overeating in the obese, of potential importance to the development of surgical and non-surgical approaches to the treatment of obesity.
-end-
Contact

Kimberley Steele, MD PHD
Associate Professor of Surgery
Director of the Johns Hopkins Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program
Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Research and Innovation
The Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery
Director of Surgical Simulation and Education - JHBMC
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine - Department of Surgery
Office: 410-550-0409
Email: ksteele3@jhmi.edu

Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191707.

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.