Eating patterns and unhealthy weight control behaviors are associated with loss-of-control eating following bariatric surgery
BACKGROUND: Loss-of-control (LOC) eating is associated with poor weight-loss outcomes following bariatric surgery. It is not clear whether eating patterns (e.g., total number of daily meals/snacks, eating after suppertime, eating when not hungry) and unhealthy weight control behaviors (e.g., smoking, using laxatives) are associated with or predictive of LOC eating. OBJECTIVES: To examine whether eating patterns and unhealthy weight-control behaviors are associated with LOC eating and, if so, whether they predict LOC eating in bariatric patients. SETTING: Multicenter study, United States. METHODS: This is a secondary analysis of the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2 study. Assessments were conducted before surgery and at 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, and 84 months after surgery. Logistic mixed models were used to examine the longitudinal associations between eating patterns, unhealthy weight-control behaviors, and LOC eating. Time-lag techniques were applied to examine whether the associated patterns and behaviors predict LOC eating. RESULTS: The participants (n = 1477) were mostly women (80%), white (86.9%), and married (62.5%). At the time of surgery, the mean age was 45.4 ± 11.0 years and the mean body mass index was 47.8 ± 7.5 kg/m. The total number of daily meals/snacks, food intake after suppertime, eating when not hungry, eating when feeling full, and use of any unhealthy weight-control behaviors were positively associated with LOC eating (P < .05). Food intake after suppertime, eating when not hungry, and eating when feeling full predicted LOC eating (P < .05). CONCLUSION: Meal patterns and unhealthy weight control behaviors may be important intervention targets for addressing LOC eating after bariatric surgery.