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Weight Loss Surgery, Sugar Addiction and the Effectiveness of Bariatric Procedures

According to a recent article published by Medical News Today, researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine have found that bariatric surgery can reduce the dopamine burst that people often get when they consume sugar, leading to a reduction in the intensity of sugar cravings in patients who have had a bariatric procedure. The researchers said that, although more research needs to be done to support and explore the data further, these findings do “provide the first evidence of a causal link between striatal dopamine and the outcomes of bariatric interventions.” This is just one of the many reasons why patients have been able to lose weight with bariatric surgery far better than those of a similar weight who try to lose weight with diet and exercise alone. They explain that both changes to the brain, and changes to the capacity of the stomach, make weight loss surgery the best scientifically proven method for losing a significant amount of excess weight.

  • Changes to the Brain – As the study reveals, certain types of weight loss surgery can actually change the way we crave and consume sugary foods. Foods high in sugar are by no means the only culprit for obesity; the data is illustrative of the anecdotal claim made by many patients that, after the procedure, they feel like they have a “new relationship with food.” With reduced cravings, bariatric patients can make better choices about what they eat, and stave off cravings to overeat.
  • Reduced Stomach Capacity – All types of weight loss surgery are meant to reduce the capacity of the stomach, despite taking different paths to accomplish this goal. The sleeve gastrectomy, for example, involves the removal of around 80 percent of the stomach, so patients feel full much quicker into each meal. Because the brain adjust to habits over time, the fact that patients will feel satisfied after eating a much smaller amount of food will, over time, become normalized, and patients will often view food in a different way.


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