Psychological predictors of poor weight loss following LSG: relevance of general psychopathology and impulsivity



After bariatric surgery (BS) a significant minority of patients do not reach successful weight loss or tend to regain weight. In recent years, interest for the psychological factors that predict post-surgical weight loss has increased with the objective of developing interventions aimed to ameliorate post-surgical outcomes. In the present study, predictive models of successful or poor weight loss 12 months after BS were investigated considering pre-surgery level of psychopathological symptoms, dysfunctional eating behaviors and trait impulsivity at baseline (pre-surgery).


Sixty-nine patients with morbid obesity canditates for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy were assessed regarding metabolic and psychological dimensions. Successful post-surgery weight loss was defined as losing at least 50% of excess body weight (%EWL).


Logistic models adjusted for patient sex, age and presence of metabolic diseases showed that the baseline presence of intense psychopathological symptoms and low attentional impulsivity predict poor %EWL (< 50%), as assessed 12-month post-surgery.


The present findings suggest that intensity of general psychopathology and impulsivity, among other psychological factors, might affect post-surgery %EWL. Conducting adequate psychological assessment at baseline of patients candidates for BS seems to be crucial to orient specific therapeutic interventions.

Level of evidence

Level III, case-control analytic study. 

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This research and some of the authors (G.T. and F.F-A.) were partially funded by Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) (Grant numbers: PI17/01167). CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn) is an initiative of ISCII.

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Testa, G., Granero, R., Siragusa, C. et al. Psychological predictors of poor weight loss following LSG: relevance of general psychopathology and impulsivity. Eat Weight Disord 25, 1621–1629 (2020).

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  • Psychological predictors of weight loss
  • Impulsivity
  • Psychopathology
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy