BACKGROUND: We have recently shown that severely obese patients display a markedly enhanced drive to consume palatable food, and that this hedonic hunger is reduced after gastric bypass surgery. Adjustable gastric banding is another frequently performed bariatric operation with unknown effects on hedonic hunger motivation. Here, we compared the level of hedonic hunger in patients who have undergone a gastric banding with that in severely obese patients who have not undergone a bariatric operation and nonobese controls.
METHODS: In a cross-sectional case-control study, 116 gastric banding patients, 138 severely obese patients, and 133 nonobese controls were examined with the Power of Food Scale (PFS), a questionnaire that reliably measures an individual's motivation to consume highly palatable food.
RESULTS: While the severely obese patients displayed markedly higher aggregated PFS scores and scores on the subdomain "generally available" and "physically present" food than the nonobese controls (all P < 0.001), the gastric banding patients showed significantly lower scores on all of these variables than the obese patients (all P < 0.001). However, the generally available food score was still higher in gastric banding patients than in the nonobese controls (P = 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Data suggest that adjustable gastric banding may reduce the excessive appetite for palatable foods in severely obese patients. This suggestion needs to be confirmed in longitudinal studies.