The Bariatric Food Pyramid

The key to long-term success with bariatric surgery is certainly life-long dietary modification.

While most guidelines focus on the immediate needs of patients undergoing bariatric surgery, long term nutrition continues to be an important issue, even in weight-stable patients.

As people with bariatric surgery tend to eat far fewer calories than before and (depending on the type of surgery) may be more prone to certain deficiencies, a “balanced” diet for them will look very different from that recommended for the general population.

This issue is now addressed in a paper by Violeta Moize from the University of Barcelona, Spain, just published in OBESITY SURGERY.

Based on the current knowledge of dietary strategies and behaviors associated with beneficial long-term nutritional outcomes in post-bariatric surgery patients, the researchers have developed a “bariatric food pyramid”, that can be used as a teaching tool and reminder to patients.

Given the nature of the operation and the physiological demands of this very special patient population, it is not surprising that there is a strong focus on high-quality protein, balanced with nutrient-dense complex carbohydrates and healthy sources of essential fatty acids.

Hopefully this tool will help both therapists and patients better understand nutrition recommendations for a healthy long-term post-op diet.

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Moizé VL, Pi-Sunyer X, Mochari H, & Vidal J (2010). Nutritional Pyramid for Post-gastric Bypass Patients. Obesity surgery, 20 (8), 1133-41 PMID: 20401543