Association between depression and eating behaviors among bariatric surgery candidates in a Turkish sample

  • Güzin M. SevinçerEmail author
  • Numan Konuk
  • Derya İpekçioğlu
  • Ross D. Crosby
  • Li Cao
  • Halil Coskun
  • James E. Mitchell
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to explore further whether depression is associated with problematic eating behaviors in a sample of Turkish bariatric surgery candidates.


This descriptive study included 168 consecutively seen bariatric surgery candidates in a university bariatric surgery outpatient. Participants were asked to complete the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and surveys assessing sociodemographic and clinical variables. Correlations and linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the relationship between clinical and demographic variables.


Participants had a mean age 37.7 ± 11.3 years and BMI of 46.4 ± 6.7 kg/m2 (SD = 6.7). According to BDI scores, 75.5 % of the patients had mild, moderate, or severe depressive symptomatology. Lower levels of depressive symptoms were associated with higher levels of restrictive eating (r = −0.17; p = 0.04), whereas higher levels of depressive symptoms were associated with more frequent eating in response to both internal (r = 0.3; p = 0.002) and external (r = 0.2; p = 0.04) cues. The BDI scores were significantly associated with increased external eating (ß = 0.03, p < 0.02) and emotional eating (ß = 0.03, p < 0.002) scores. BMI (β = −0.02, p = 0.02 > 0.1) was not associated with DEBQ total scores.


This research suggests that mild, moderate or severe depressive symptoms are observed in most of the bariatric surgical candidate patients. There is a positive correlation between severity of depression and emotional/external eating behaviors, and a negative correlation between severity of depression and restrictive eating behavior. Additional research is needed to determine whether treating depression preoperatively can assist with alleviating problematic eating behaviors.


Obesity Bariatric surgery Eating behavior Emotional eating Depression 


Compliance with ethical standards


There was no specific funding for this study.

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individiual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Güzin M. Sevinçer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Numan Konuk
    • 2
  • Derya İpekçioğlu
    • 3
  • Ross D. Crosby
    • 4
  • Li Cao
    • 5
  • Halil Coskun
    • 6
  • James E. Mitchell
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyIstanbul Gelisim UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry IstanbulIstanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical FacultyIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Bakırköy Research and Training Hospital for Psychiatry, Neurology and NeurosurgeryIstanbulTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Clinical ResearchNeuropsychiatric Research InstituteFargoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral ScienceUniversity of North Dakota School of MedicineFargoUSA
  6. 6.Department of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, Faculty of MedicineBezmialem Vakif UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  7. 7.Department of Clinical NeuroscienceUniversity of North Dakota School of MedicineFargoUSA

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