Recently, after analyzing why volume based interventions may be not successful in the long run, we now analyze a new study(1) that looks at the association of initial taste preferences with weight re-gain in patients after bariatric surgery. Many times sweetness is associated with obesity but this counter example may provide us with some more information on what may be going on.
Here's how the study goes:
- 131 participants underwent either Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass(RYGB) or Verticle Sleeve Gastrectomy(VSG) surgery.(See glossary for visual)
- Overall, RYGB had less weight re-gain compared to VSG.
- Salty taste preference was associated highest with weight re-gain 2 years later in both forms of surgery
- After an adjusted analysis sweet taste was not associated with weight re-gain and neither was savory
Here's our analysis:
- Taste is a thorny subject as foods are made up of more than just taste components and taste perceptions could be subjective
- It is important to note, still, that many such surgeries seem to fail long term as patients return to the same foods that led them to the surgery
- In this case, salty foods may have a role to play on weight gain or re-gain, moreso than other flavor components such as sweet and savory
As noted in the study, the primary concern is with salty foods though this may be part of the picture. It would be interesting to see how food structure and architecture as a whole can influence weight re-gain or gain in not just surgery patients but the general public as well. More research into how such surgeries can interact with the reward and endocrine system will give us more insight into what biological mechanisms drive weight gain in the general public and what kind of foods can be manufactured to target those mechanisms for long term human health benefits. We speculate that food structure most likely supersedes flavor components of foods, the latter potentially complementing the architecture of the food.
Fahad is the founder of Ketogeek and hosts the Ketogeek Podcast, a world class health show about food, nutrition and health. He is into resistance training, Ashtanga yoga, calisthenics and various forms of training styles. Armed with a idealistic goals distilled in a world of realism, his goal is to help the world make a better place. He leads a life of extreme generalism or as he describes it, 'The Renaissance Lifestyle'.
“It never ceases to amaze me how prosaic, pedestrian, unimaginative people can persistently pontificate about classical grammatical structure as though it's fucking rocket science. These must be the same people who hate Picasso, because he couldn't keep the paint inside the lines and the colors never matched the numbers.”
― Abbe Diaz