Date of Award

Summer 8-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Overweight and obesity is a worldwide epidemic that is negatively impacting individuals’ health and quality of life. Much research has been conducted regarding the effects of diet and exercise for weight loss, with current research providing evidence in favor of bariatric surgery for severely obese adults and children. The purpose of this project is to understand participants motivating factors, anticipated post-surgery success and anticipated changes in physical, social and mental health. The objectives were to describe participants’ motivations for pursuing bariatric surgery, describe participants level of confidence with postsurgical diet implementation, and compare participants anticipated post-surgery changes in quality of life and compare to current expectations. Using a qualitative research approach, seventeen male and female participants between 25 and 41were individually interviewed. The motivating factors found were health and wellness, comorbidities, family and children, and physical fitness. Participants confidence in their abilities was characterized by practicing postsurgical diet changes, changing presurgical eating habits and work-life balance. Finally, quality of life themes included activities of daily living, enjoying extracurricular activities, improved physical appearance, social eating, attending special events, greater willingness to participate socially and improved anxiety and depression and positive self-perception. Many concepts were found to be overlapping throughout many of the themes which were fear and frustration and energy and stamina. Overall, the small sample size limits the generalizability of the results. The current study provides beneficial information for registered dietitians and related healthcare professionals to better understand their patient population and provide recommendations that best meets the patient’s needs.