Food reward functions as affected by obesity and bariatric surgery

A. C. Shin, H. R. Berthoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) remains to be the most effective long-term treatment for obesity and its associated comorbidities, but the specific mechanisms involved remain elusive. Because RYGB patients appear to no longer be preoccupied with thoughts about food and are satisfied with much smaller meals and calorically dilute foods, brain reward mechanisms could be involved. Just as obesity can produce maladaptive alterations in reward functions, reversal of obesity by RYGB could normalize these changes or even further reset the food reward system through changes in gut hormone secretion, aversive conditioning and/or secondary effects of weight loss. Future studies with longitudinal assessments of reward behaviors and their underlying neural circuits before and after surgery will be necessary to uncover the specific mechanisms involved. Such new insights could be the base for future ‘knifeless’ pharmacological and behavioral approaches to obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S40-S44
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


  • Brain
  • Food addiction
  • Gut hormones
  • Weight loss


Dive into the research topics of 'Food reward functions as affected by obesity and bariatric surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this