Body image and weight loss outcome after bariatric metabolic surgery: a mixed model analysis

D.J.S. Makarawung*, P.J. Dijkhorst, C.E.E. de Vries, V.M. Monpellier, M.J. Wiezer, R.N. van Veen, R. Geenen, A.B. Mink van der Molen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: As in nonsurgical weight loss populations, body image may partly explain differences in weight loss outcomes after surgery. The aim of this study was to determine the prospective association between body image and weight loss in a longitudinal cohort of patients up to 3 years after bariatric metabolic surgery. Materials and Methods: The BODY-Q self-report questionnaire was used to assess body image. Linear mixed models evaluated associations of baseline body image with weight loss in the first year as well as associations of body image at 12 months and first-year change in body image with weight loss 12 to 36 months after surgery. Results: Available body image data included 400 (100%), 371 (93%), 306 (77%), 289 (72%), and 218 (55%) patients at baseline and 4, 12, 24, and 36 months, respectively. Body image scores improved significantly until 12 months, followed by a gradual decline. Scores remained improved in comparison to baseline (β = 31.49, 95% CI [27.8, 35.2], p <.001). Higher baseline body image was associated with less weight loss during the first year, and the effect size was trivial (ß = −0.05, 95% CI [−0.09, −0.01], p =.009). Body image and change in body image were not associated with weight loss 12 to 36 months after surgery. Conclusion: Body image improved after bariatric metabolic surgery. Although no clinically relevant associations of body image with weight loss were demonstrated, the gradual decline in body image scores underlines the importance of long-term follow-up with regular assessment of this aspect of quality of life. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2396-2404
Number of pages9
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number8
Early online date24 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • BODY-Q
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Body image
  • Body image concerns
  • Weight loss


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