Eating expectancies before bariatric surgery: assessment and associations with weight loss trajectories

Gail A. Williams-Kerver, Lauren M. Schaefer, Misty A.W. Hawkins, Janis H. Crowther, Jennifer Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: While presurgical eating behaviors have demonstrated limited prognostic value, cognitions regarding the effects of eating may serve as important predictors of weight loss outcomes after bariatric surgery. The Eating Expectancies Inventory (EEI) is a commonly used, self-report measure of expected consequences of eating; however, its psychometric and predictive properties have not yet been evaluated among bariatric surgery patients. Objectives: This study sought to examine the factor structure and internal consistency of the EEI among bariatric surgery candidates, to examine relationships between EEI factors and measures of eating psychopathology, and to explore the effects of eating expectancies on postsurgical weight loss. Setting: Data originated from an interdisciplinary bariatric surgery center in the Midwest United States. Methods: Two hundred sixty-two women completed self-report questionnaires before bariatric surgery. Presurgical data and available postsurgical weights (at 6, 12, and 18 mo) were obtained from medical records. Results: Analyses indicated that the original 5-factor model was a good-to-excellent fit for the EEI data. All EEI factors demonstrated good reliability and were significantly associated with eating disorder symptoms and behaviors at baseline. Higher scores on EEI Factor 1 (negative affect) and Factor 5 (alleviates boredom) predicted poorer weight loss at 18 months postsurgery (n = 132). Conclusions: Findings support the reliability and validity of the EEI among female bariatric candidates. Presurgical eating expectancies were linked to pathologic eating patterns and also predicted postsurgical weight loss trajectories, suggesting that eating expectancies may have prognostic value as predictors of bariatric surgery outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1793-1799
Number of pages7
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Eating disorders
  • Eating expectancies
  • Eating psychopathology
  • Psychological assessment
  • Weight loss


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