Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

Research Article

Sir David Cuthbertson Medal Lecture Bariatric surgery as a model to study appetite control

Conference on ‘Malnutrition matters’

on 4–5 November 2008, The Annual Meeting of the Nutrition Society and BAPEN, was held at Harrogate International Centre, Harrogate.

Marco Buetera1 and Carel W. le Rouxa1 c1

a1 Department of Metabolic Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK


The obesity epidemic and its associated morbidity and mortality have led to major research efforts to identify mechanisms that regulate appetite. Gut hormones have recently been found to be an important element in appetite regulation as a result of the signals from the periphery to the brain. Candidate hormones include ghrelin, peptide YY, glucagon-like peptide-1 and gastric inhibitory polypeptide, all of which are currently being investigated as potential obesity treatments. Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective therapy for substantial and sustained weight loss. Understanding how levels of gut hormones are modulated by such procedures has greatly contributed to the comprehension of the underlying mechanisms of appetite and obesity. The present paper is a review of how appetite and levels of gastrointestinal hormones are altered after bariatric surgery. Basic principles of common bariatric procedures and potential mechanisms for appetite regulation by gut hormones are also addressed.

(Online publication April 29 2009)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr C. W. le Roux, fax +44 208 3838320, email