Gut-brain mechanisms underlying changes in disordered eating behaviour after bariatric surgery: a review

Eva Guerrero-Hreins, Claire J. Foldi, Brian J. Oldfield, Aneta Stefanidis, Priya Sumithran, Robyn M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Bariatric surgery results in long-term weight loss and an improved metabolic phenotype due to changes in the gut-brain axis regulating appetite and glycaemia. Neuroendocrine alterations associated with bariatric surgery may also influence hedonic aspects of eating by inducing changes in taste preferences and central reward reactivity towards palatable food. However, the impact of bariatric surgery on disordered eating behaviours (e.g.: binge eating, loss-of-control eating, emotional eating and ‘addictive eating’), which are commonly present in people with obesity are not well understood. Increasing evidence suggests gut-derived signals, such as appetitive hormones, bile acid profiles, microbiota concentrations and associated neuromodulatory metabolites, can influence pathways in the brain implicated in food intake, including brain areas involved in sensorimotor, reward-motivational, emotional-arousal and executive control components of food intake. As disordered eating prevalence is a key mediator of weight-loss success and patient well-being after bariatric surgery, understanding how changes in the gut-brain axis contribute to disordered eating incidence and severity after bariatric surgery is crucial to better improve treatment outcomes in people with obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733–751
Number of pages19
JournalReviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Disordered eating
  • Gut-brain axis
  • Obesity
  • Reward
  • Taste preferences

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