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Understanding Eating and Exercise Behaviors in Post Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Patients: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study.

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Bariatric Nutrition Consultant, Private Practice, Whitewood, South Dakota.
Department of Veteran Affairs, Washington, DC.
Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, South Dakota State University , Brooking, SD.



Weight regain following gastric bypass (GB) surgery continues to plague many individuals across the United States. However, understanding long-term eating and exercise behaviors to promote and sustain a lower weight following GB surgery is limited.


The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions and attitudes of eating and exercise behaviors associated with weight maintenance in post-GB patients (n=24) 2 or more years postsurgery. Demographic, anthropometric, and food record data were collected. Focus groups and personal interviews were used to understand behaviors and support systems associated with weight stabilization. Focus groups were audio-taped, transcribed, and organized into common themes.


All participants were female, with a mean of 6 years postsurgery, and had a mean age of 51.8±10.5 years. The majority were married (71%) and had a college degree (58%). Although the average weight regain postsurgery was estimated at 16.2±12.7 kg, most of the women (75%) had maintained a significant weight loss of at least 50% of their excess body weight. Themes associated with weight regain emerging from the focus groups included variable family support and a return to "old eating habits."


Focus group participants identified lack of long-term emotional support from family members and limited community support for weight loss surgery patients.

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