Table of Contents
ISRN Obesity
Volume 2014, Article ID 427062, 6 pages
Research Article

The Work behind Weight-Loss Surgery: A Qualitative Analysis of Food Intake after the First Two Years Post-Op

Department of Health Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, North Dakota State University, 351 EML, Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA

Received 22 November 2013; Accepted 16 December 2013; Published 9 January 2014

Academic Editors: F. J. Elgar, J. J. Gleysteen, and H. Gordish-Dressman

Copyright © 2014 Angela A. Geraci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. and has nearly doubled worldwide since 1980. Bariatric surgery is on the rise, but little focus has been placed on the psychosocial impacts of surgery. The purpose of this study was to explore experiences of patients who have undergone bariatric surgery at least two years before to gain an understanding of the successes and challenges they have faced since surgery. Methods. This study used a phenomenological approach, to investigate the meaning and essence of bariatric patients with food after surgery. Semi-structured interviews were conducted on a sample of nine participants who had undergone surgery at least two years prior. Findings. Two main themes regarding food intake emerged from the data: (a) food after the first year post-surgery and (b) bariatric surgery is not a magic pill. Upon further analysis, food after the first year post-surgery had four subthemes emerge: diet adherence after the first year post-surgery, food intolerances, amount of food, and tendencies toward coping with food do not magically disappear. Conclusion. Findings revealed that post-operative diet and exercise adherence becomes increasingly difficult as weight loss slows. Many participants find that only after the first year after surgery the work really begins.