|Abstract:||The prevalence of obesity, a disease that poses several health and metabolic concerns, continues to grow worldwide. As of today, bariatric surgery is the only long-term successful treatment for weight loss for those with severe obesity. After receiving bariatric surgery, individuals self-report taste changes. However, when tested with validated sensory techniques, these changes are not evident. It is possible, though, that there are changes in flavor (e.g. retronasal smell, orthonasal smell) perception, and subjects are confusing taste and flavor (as is commonly done in the general population). In addition, in previous studies we have seen that subjects one year post-surgery experience a decreased hedonic response to sweetness. However, questionnaire studies suggest this effect might be attenuated long-term. Additionally after receiving such surgeries, individuals experience reductions in problematic eating behaviors, such as emotional eating and frequency of food cravings. Unfortunately, little is known as to if these beneficial reductions last long term post-surgery. Therefore, we tested two hypotheses in this thesis based on the aforementioned gaps in the literature. Hypothesis 1: Subjects evaluated 2-5 years post-surgery will have more enhanced retronasal and orthonasal smell capabilities than pre-surgery subjects, and normal BMI controls would have similar capabilities as post-surgery subjects. Additionally, post-surgery subjects will have a similar hedonic response to sweetness as pre-surgery and normal BMI subjects. Hypothesis 2: Eating behaviors will be similar in subjects evaluated 2-5 years post-surgery when compared to pre-surgery subjects, and eating behaviors in normal BMI controls will be different than both bariatric cohorts. To test our hypotheses, we evaluated 14 normal BMI control subjects, 10 pre-surgery subjects, and 7 post-sleeve gastrectomy (SG) subjects on the following items: perceived intensity of “real-food” stimuli; preferred concentration of sucrose; perceived intensity of different fat concentrations in vanilla pudding; a University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) test for orthonasal smell; influence of emotions, external food cues, and restraint on consumption; frequency of food cravings; dietary fat preference; presence of food addiction; and behavioral impulsivity. We found that, overall, flavor perception was not remarkably different among groups. Additionally, we found that eating behaviors were relatively similar between groups, indicating that the previously seen reductions in problematic eating behaviors 1 year post-surgery are attenuated 2-5 years later. Our results provide evidence that the mechanisms for self-reported “taste” changes lie outside of peripheral taste and smell function, and that it might be crucial to monitor subjects long-term as beneficial eating behaviors are no longer apparent 2-5 years after surgery.