OVERVIEW AND TARGET AUDIENCE: This course is focused on how understanding of bariatric surgery’s effects on behavioral and psychosocial patterns is evolving in response to recent and ongoing research that capitalizes on advances in learning and methodology research methodology that allow these issues to be studied in more sophisticated and targeted ways. In its first half, the course will highlight critical questions about psychosocial and behavioral mechanisms of behavior change after bariatric surgery including which behaviors are most important for weight loss outcomes, the role of cognitive functioning in adherence to behavioral recommendations, and how understanding surgery-related changes in biology is important for enhancing behavior change to improve outcomes. In its second half, the course will highlight designs, methodology, and preliminary findings of selected NIH-funded projects focused on psychosocial and behavioral aspects of bariatric surgery. The course will include an emphasis on advances in research methodology and the specific findings that they are yielding, and the practical implications of these findings, including strategies for identifying and treating common behavioral and psychosocial problems occurring after bariatric surgery. The course therefore targets the broad audience of healthcare providers with an interest and investment in behavioral health following bariatric surgery, and the scientific community.


  • Describe how understanding of bariatric surgery’s effect on behavioral and psychosocial patterns (both positive and negative) is evolving in response to recent and ongoing research.
  • Identify behaviors recently found to be related to long-term weight loss after bariatric surgery in the LABS study.
  • Understand the relationship between cognitive functioning and adherence to behavioral recommendations after bariatric surgery.
  • Describe the influence of biological factors (e.g., appetite-related hormones) on behavior change and ability to sustain weight loss after bariatric surgery.
  • Provide examples of ongoing novel methodologies used to study behavioral and psychosocial aspects of bariatric surgery and preliminary findings that these methodologies are yielding

8:00am Course Introduction
Dale Bond, PhD
Part 1: Critical Questions About Psychosocial and Behavioral Mechanisms of Behavior Change After Bariatric Surgery
8:10am Which behaviors contribute to long-term weight loss? Lessons learned from LABS
8:30am Why isn’t adherence to behavioral recommendations better? The case for cognitive functioning
8:50am How do changes in appetite-related hormones affect eating behavior after bariatric surgery?
9:10am Can behavior trump biology? Forming habits to counter biological pressure for weight regain
9:30am Panel Question & Answer
9:50am Break
Part 2: Examples of Ongoing NIH-funded Research on Behavioral and Psychosocial Aspects of Bariatric Surgery
10:10am An Examination of the Intersection Between Behavior and Biology After Bariatric Surgery
10:30am Predictors of Depression and Weight Regain After Bariatric Surgery
10:50am Mobile Technology for Richer Assessment of Behavioral and Psychosocial Aspects of Bariatric Surgery: Preoperative Findings
11:10am Psychopathology, Disordered Eating, and Impulsivity In Bariatric Surgery Patients: Preliminary Findings
11:30am Panel Question & Answer
12:00pm Adjourn