Impulsivity, Negative Mood, and Disordered Eating in Obesity

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Bariatric surgery is a life-altering procedure that leads to substantial weight loss for most patients with obesity. Psychiatric conditions that may interfere with eating behavior and other behavioral prescriptions after surgery are common. Disordered eating is an established risk factor for inferior weight loss but the effects of negative mood and impulsivity are largely unknown. This thesis aims to investigate the prevalence of and associations between these potential risk factors and eating behavior in bariatric surgery patients.Study I assessed the prevalence of adult Attention Deficits/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms in bariatric surgery patients. Symptoms of adult ADHD were elevated compared to the normal population and associated with symptoms of disordered eating, anxiety, and depression.Study II investigated whether treatment with Behavioral Activation (BA) could ameliorate binge eating and other symptoms of disordered eating in patients with obesity and Binge Eating Disorder. The results showed that BA was effective in increasing activity levels and improving mood but not in ameliorating binge eating in these patients.Study III was a prospective study on disordered eating, symptoms of depression and anxiety, symptoms of adult ADHD, and alcohol risk consumption before surgery and at follow-up after 12 months. After controlling for age, no variable measured before surgery could predict weight loss after surgery. Disordered eating after surgery was associated with inferior weight loss in men and a subgroup of older female participants.The present thesis concludes that symptoms of adult ADHD are common among bariatric surgery patients and associated with disordered eating. There is no indication that symptoms of adult ADHD are associated with short-term inferior weight loss after surgery. However, adult ADHD may be a risk factor for postsurgical alcohol abuse. The treatment study showed no direct association among activity, mood, and binge eating. BA, while effective in improving mood, was found not to be an effective treatment for BED, at least in the short group format investigated.