Title

The Impact of Surgically Induced Weight Loss on an Individual's Psychological Health

Faculty Sponsor

Lissa Yogan

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Sociology

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-4-2017

Abstract

With obesity becoming an increasingly chronic physical illness, prevalent in all ages throughout the United States, bariatric surgery continues to give individuals battling obesity a second chance to better their lives. While many have argued that weight loss surgery is the easy way out, and obese persons just need to diet and exercise, further research has shown that surgically induced weight loss plays a critical role in that person's psychological well-being. I will be distributing a survey of questions, pertaining to experiences before and after surgery, across multiple bariatric support groups on social media. This will demonstrate if an individual's previous and current stress levels, perception of themself, and psychological well being differs after experiencing a significant amount of weight loss. In all, I hope to see whether women between the age of 25-38 will lose a lesser amount of weight due to higher stress levels and greater psychological distress prior to and post bariatric surgery in comparison to men between the age of 25-38.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

My name is Angelica Marie Torres, and I am a current sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences studying Sociology and Psychology in hopes of becoming a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. My interest in bariatric surgery and psychological health truly began after undergoing bariatric surgery in July of 2016, at the age of 19. During my weight loss journey, I have experienced many changes in not only my physical image, but in my psychological and behavioral well-being. Before undergoing the sleeve gastrectomy weight loss surgery, I was the girl who never raised her hand in class and walked with her head down; however, I am now the woman who is outspoken and strides the sidewalks looking forward. My entire view on life has changed, and my soul has risen; however, I have realized that weight loss surgery was not the easy way out. Making healthy decisions is still hard, and remembering to take my vitamins even more difficult. Despite the downfalls of bariatric surgery, I know that I, as well as many others, only have one regret: we should have done it sooner.

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