Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Karen K. Saules

Second Advisor

Kenneth W. Rusiniak


The present study focuses on the recent discovery of an overrepresentation of postbariatric surgery patients in substance abuse h'eatment centers (Saules et aI., 2010) and accumulating evidence of new-onset substance use disorders among post-bariatric surgery patients (Ivezaj, 2011; Saules, Reslan, & Schuh, 2012; Wiedemann, Saules, & Ivezaj, 2012), suggesting a role for both food addiction and addiction transfer (Avena & Gold, 2011; McFadden, 2010). Burgeoning research with both animal models and humans demonstrates the applicability of putative "food addiction" in the context of obesity, and justification for further examination of specific macronuh'ients as they relate to obesity and addiction transfer (Volkow, 2008; Davis et aI., 2011; Zilberter, 2012).

Secondary data analyses were conducted using de-identified data collected by Ivezaj (2011) of a sample of 154 adults who underwent bariatric surgery. Logistic regression models suggest that participants who have problems with foods high in sugar and low in fat in combination as well as foods high on the glycemic index may be at greater risk for New Onset Substance Use Disorder post-bariatric surgery. The findings also provide further evidence for the existence of differing groups among WLS patients, and for addiction transfer among WLS patients, from sugar dependence to a substance. Finally, findings of the current study may extend beyond WLS patients and provide implications for the current obesity epidemic, and the role of high sugar beverages in the development of food addiction.

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Psychology Commons