Bariatric Surgery, Binge Eating Disorder, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Food Addiction, Mobile Health, Self-Management



  1. Anderson, Laura M. PhD
  2. Chacko, Thomas P. MA


Abstract: Binge eating disorder, food addiction, and dysregulated overeating are common among people with severe obesity and prevalent among bariatric surgery populations. These problematic eating habits share commonalities with other addictions. Effective, holistic self-management is needed to promote long-term weight loss and psychosocial adjustment among patients who are severely obese who undergo surgery, especially those with clinically remarkable levels of binge eating, food addiction, or dysregulated overeating.


This article aims to briefly review binge eating disorder, food addiction, and obesity-as well as issues surrounding surgery for individuals who are severely obese-and introduce the Bariatric Outcomes: Self-management for Sustained Surgical Success (BOSSSS) program. The BOSSSS program is holistic, skill based, and designed to promote weight loss, prevent weight regain, and improve well-being in patients with severe obesity with a history of bariatric surgery.


Preliminary survey data suggest that bariatric surgery patients report a lack of skill-based emotional and behavioral support designed to help them over the long term. The BOSSSS program is rooted in self-determination theory, integrating mobile health technology across program components. Self-determination theory-based interventions are personalized and encourage autonomy, competence, and social support among participating patients and providers. The behavioral self-regulation training within BOSSSS is energy balance self-monitoring and titration. Emotional self-regulation is addressed via a specialized version of dialectical behavior skills therapy, emphasizing promotion of coping skills and use of adaptive, healthy substances in immediate environments. The BOSSSS program has been well received by patients and could be implemented by nurses and other health professionals with minimal support.