Food Cravings Among Bariatric Surgery Candidates

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Purpose: Food cravings are common, more prevalent in the obese, and may differ in those who pursue surgical treatment for obesity. Food craving tools are most often validated in non-clinical, non-obese samples. Methods: In this retrospective study, 227 bariatric surgery candidates at a large medical center completed the Food Cravings Questionnaire-Trait (FCQ-T). The aim was to explore the factor structure of the FCQ-T. Results: Principal components analysis with varimax rotation revealed a seven-factor structure that explained 70.89 % of the variance. The seven factors were: (1) preoccupation with food, (2) emotional triggers, (3) environmental cues, (4) loss of control, (5) relief from negative emotions, (6) guilt, and (7) physiological response. The preoccupation with food factor accounted for 49.46 % of the variance in responses. Conclusions: Unlike other populations, food cravings in bariatric surgery candidates appear to be related most to preoccupations with food.