Effect of Obesity Surgery on Taste

AS Al-Alsheikh, S Alabdulkader, B Johnson, AP Goldstone, AD Miras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Obesity surgery is a highly efficacious treatment for obesity and its comorbidities. The underlying mechanisms of weight loss after obesity surgery are not yet fully understood. Changes to taste function could be a contributing factor. However, the pattern of change in different taste domains and among obesity surgery operations is not consistent in the literature. A systematic search was performed to identify all articles investigating gustation in human studies following bariatric procedures. A total of 3323 articles were identified after database searches, searching references and deduplication, and 17 articles were included. These articles provided evidence of changes in the sensory and reward domains of taste following obesity procedures. No study investigated the effect of obesity surgery on the physiological domain of taste. Taste detection sensitivity for sweetness increases shortly after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Additionally, patients have a reduced appetitive reward value to sweet stimuli. For the subgroup of patients who experience changes in their food preferences after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or vertical sleeve gastrectomy, changes in taste function may be underlying mechanisms for changing food preferences which may lead to weight loss and its maintenance. However, data are heterogeneous; the potential effect dilutes over time and varies significantly between different procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Issue number4
Early online date18 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 18 Feb 2022


  • bariatric surgery
  • gustation
  • taste perception
  • reward
  • appetitive
  • consummatory
  • sleeve gastrectomy
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • adjustable gastric banding
  • sweet


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