OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the proportion of US adults with excess weight and obesity who consider bariatric surgery to be appropriate for themselves and how their own weight perception influences this consideration.
METHODS: A stratified sample of 920 US adults in June 2014 was obtained through an online survey. The respondents were queried about bariatric surgery acceptability and personal weight perception. Average body mass index (BMI) was determined for each demographic variable, and responses were characterized according to BMI and concordance with perceived weight status. Chi-square analyses served to assess perceived weight concordance in relation to bariatric acceptance.
RESULTS: Only 32% of respondents with Class III obesity indicated that bariatric surgery would be an acceptable option for them, most often because they considered it to be too risky. Respondents with Class III obesity and concordant perception of weight status were more likely (P < 0.03) than discordant Class III respondents to accept bariatric surgery. Likewise, concordant respondents with excess weight, but not obesity, were more likely (P < 0.001) to correctly consider bariatric surgery to be inappropriate for them.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite good safety and efficacy, many persons still believe bariatric surgery is too risky. Weight perception concordance or discordance influences one's decision to consider this treatment option.