Publication Date

Spring 2017

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Deepika Goyal

Second Advisor

Sharon Ball

Third Advisor

Shelly Rodgers


Weight maintenance, Genetics, Behavioral traits, Snacking, Eating disinhibition


Obesity has reached worldwide epidemic proportions and is associated with the leading causes of death. A person’s predisposition to obesity is strongly related to genetics and specific genes have been identified that influence weight control. The aim of this quantitative retrospective chart review is to identify the impact of behavioral genetics on weight loss maintenance following a medically supervised very low calorie diet. A total of 330 patient charts that met inclusion criteria were reviewed. Six behavioral genetic results were reviewed which included snacking, hunger, satiety, eating disinhibition, food desire, and sweet tooth along with patient weight at 3, 6, and 12 month post weight loss program. Dropout rates at 6 month and 12 months were also reviewed. Results indicated no association between the genetic behavioral results of hunger, satiety, food desire and sweet tooth with weight maintenance, however findings did indicate a relationship between the snacking and eating disinhibition gene results with weight maintenance success at certain time points. Interestingly, results indicated that patients who were at increased risk for snacking had lower dropout rates from the maintenance program compared to those that tested typical snacking behavior. Based on prior research and the results of this current study the author recommends referral to medical weight loss programs for patients that struggle with weight loss as well as early genetic testing during the weight loss program so that high risk patients can be identified early. Current study findings suggest there is a place for genetic testing in bariatric medicine, however more research is needed in order to better understands the extent of those benefits and the exact role genetic testing will play.

Included in

Other Nursing Commons


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