Weight Loss Surgery Can Trigger Eating Disorders

Many who have struggled with their weight for a lifetime look to weight loss surgery methods like gastric bypass or the lap-band procedure to solve their weight problems. While these types of surgeries are successful for some people, many others still struggle after their operation.

For those with underlying psychological food issues, weight loss surgery can trigger other eating disorders. According to a 2024 Harvard study, 60 percent of all individuals seeking surgical treatment for obesity suffer from an eating disorder, usually binge eating.  Those that have a previously unhealthy relationship with food and their body are at a higher risk of succumbing to other eating disorders after their operation.

Lap band and gastric bypass surgeries don’t typically create an eating disorder if there wasn’t previously one there. The major problem is that some who have these unhealthy food relationships have either left them untreated, or been unsuccessful in treatment prior to surgery. For binge eaters, the body cannot physically handle binge eating after surgery.

Many people with previous eating disorders are having the surgery although they are not psychologically ready. This new information highlights the extreme importance of counseling before weight loss surgery. The proper counseling can help patients understand the severity of this type of surgery. Obtaining this counseling will also help patients understand the consequences of not properly following the doctor’s orders and allow exploration of why the weight was gained in the first place.

It is a common story that people have had weight loss surgery, lost large amounts of weight and gained it back. This is largely due to unresolved food issues and can be dangerous for the body and overall health. Weight loss surgery can be a solution in extreme cases of obesity, but being well prepared through counseling and a change of behavior is essential to keeping the weight off.

Via ABC News


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