• Vitamin and micronutrient supplement advice given to post-bariatric surgery patients by UK dietitians

      Fallows, Stephen; Towers, Catherine (University of Chester, 2009)
      This study was to determine the vitamin and micro-nutrient supplementation recommendations made by UK registered dietitians to patients following bariatric surgery. There is a well recognised risk of nutritional deficit following bariatric surgery. Twenty one members (10.5%) of “Dietitians in Obesity Management UK” responded to an anonymous on-line survey about their bariatric activity and nutritional recommendations to patients following “food limiting” and “nutrient absorption limiting” surgery. Nine respondents had each consulted with over 100 patients last year, with 85% of dietitians’ caseloads being within the NHS. Compared against the 2007 Inter-disciplinary European Guidelines on Surgery of Severe Obesity, 90% of dietitians were meeting the recommended nutritional supplement guidelines for food limiting procedures. Only one respondent (5%) was meeting the supplementation guidelines for nutrient absorption limiting procedures. Two dietitians were recommending additional vitamin or micro-nutrients to their patients’ general vitamin and micro-nutrient supplement following food limiting procedures. Four out of twenty dietitians, with smaller caseloads, were only recommending a general vitamin and micro-nutrient supplement to patients following nutrient absorption limiting procedures. The range of nutritional composition of products named by the dietitians was substantial, with iron, vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D levels below those known to prevent common nutritional deficiencies following bariatric surgery. Only five respondents (25%) stated that the results of laboratory tests influenced their recommendations. Increasing the awareness of the nutritional needs to this group of patients to all healthcare practitioners and exploration of the use of bariatric surgery specific nutritional supplements may reduce to risk of patients’ nutritional deficit.