Examining differences in long-term weight loss outcomes after bariatric surgery: The role of romantic relationship status

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Families, systems & health


INTRODUCTION: This study tested for differences based on relationship status at the time of surgery in baseline body mass index (BMI), weight loss outcomes (change in BMI [ΔBMI], percent total weight loss [%TWL], percent excess weight loss [%EWL]), and rates of successful weight loss (defined as ≥ 50%EWL) up to 4-year postbariatric surgery.

METHOD: Data came from a secondary analysis of patients (N = 492) who were up to 4-year postsurgery and completed a presurgical psychological evaluation and postsurgical survey.

RESULTS: Sixty-nine percent of participants were patients in committed relationships and 31% were single/divorced/widowed patients. Single patients had higher presurgical BMIs than those who were partnered (t = 2.28, p = .02). There were no differences between those who were partnered and singles regarding ΔBMI and %TWL, although singles had smaller %EWL (t = -2.08, p = .04), which became nonsignificant after controlling for covariates. Most participants had successful weight loss (76.8%); however, this was not related to romantic relationship status.

DISCUSSION: The results suggest those who were partnered undergo surgery at better-starting weights than singles and maintain this advantage in the long term. Providers working with patients considering bariatric surgery could inquire about how their romantic and social relationships play a part in their decision-making process. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

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ePub ahead of print