Racial Differences in Psychiatric Symptoms, Maladaptive Eating and Lifestyle Behaviors After Bariatric Surgery.

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J Racial Ethn Health Disparities


There are several psychological and behavioral factors associated with poorer outcomes following bariatric surgery, yet it is unknown whether and how these factors may differ by race. In this cross-sectional study, individuals who underwent bariatric surgery from 2018 to 2021 and up to 4 years post-surgery were invited to complete an online survey. Psychiatric symptoms, maladaptive eating patterns, self-monitoring behaviors, and exercise frequency were examined. Participants (N = 733) were 87% women, 63% White, with a mean age of 44 years. Analyses of covariance demonstrated that White individuals endorsed greater anxiety symptoms (p =.01) and emotional eating due to depression (p = .01), whereas Black individuals endorsed greater depression severity (p = .02). Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that White individuals were more likely to experience loss of control eating (OR= 1.7, p = .002), grazing (OR= 2.53, p <.001), and regular self-weighing (OR= 1.41, p <.001) than Black individuals, and were less likely to skip meals (OR= .61, p = .04), or partake in nighttime eating (OR= .40, p <.001). There were no racial differences in binge eating, emotional eating due to anxiety or frustration, use of a food diary, or exercise. Thus, depressive symptoms, skipping meals, and nighttime eating may be important, modifiable intervention targets to optimize the benefits of bariatric surgery and promote equitable outcomes.

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ePub ahead of print