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Bariatric Surgery

Preoperative liking and wanting for sweet beverages as predictors of body weight loss after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy



Patients who receive Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) lose more weight than those who receive vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). RYGB and VSG alter hedonic responses to sweet flavor, but whether baseline differences in hedonic responses modulate weight loss after RYGB or VSG remains untested.


Male and female candidates (n = 66) for RYGB or VSG were recruited and tested for their subjective liking and wanting ratings of sucrose solutions and flavored beverages sweetened with aspartame. Participants were classified by unsupervised hierarchical clustering for their liking and wanting ratings of sucrose and aspartame. Participant liking ratings were also used in a supervised classification using pre-established categories of liking ratings (liker, disliker, and inverted u-shape). Effects of categories obtained from unsupervised or supervised classification on body weight loss and their interaction with surgery type were analyzed separately at 3 and 12 months after surgery using linear models corrected for sex and age.


RYGB participants lost more body weight compared with VSG participants at 3 and 12 months after surgery (P < 0.001 for both time points). Unsupervised clustering analysis identified clusters corresponding to high and low wanting or liking ratings for sucrose or aspartame. RYGB participants in high-wanting clusters based on sucrose, but not aspartame, lost more weight than VSG at both 3 (P = 0.01) and 12 months (P = 0.03), yielding a significant cluster by surgery interaction. Categories based on supervised classification using liking ratings for sucrose or aspartame showed no significant effects on body weight loss between RYGB and VSG participants.


Classification of patients into high/low-wanting ratings for sucrose before surgery can predict differential body weight loss after RYGB or VSG in adults and could be used to advise on surgery type.

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This work was supported by NIH 1R01DK108643 (HR Kissileff, PI), FONDECYT Regular 1150274 (Perez-Leighton) and the New York Nutrition Obesity Research Center (DK-26687). Aspartame was a gift from Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Tokyo, Japan

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Correspondence to Harry R. Kissileff.

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Perez-Leighton, C.E., Hamm, J.D., Shechter, A. et al. Preoperative liking and wanting for sweet beverages as predictors of body weight loss after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. Int J Obes 44, 1350–1359 (2020).

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