BACKGROUND - This cross-sectional survey was designed to determine the self-reported weight management, dietary and physical activity behaviors of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) patients who were 1 to 4 years after the RYGBP operation, and to identify gaps in follow-up nutrition-related chronic disease prevention.
METHODS - Questionnaires including behavioral items from the 2003 and 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were mailed to all RYGBP patients in a clinically active outpatient database.
RESULTS - Of 212 patients, 140 (66%) returned completed questionnaires. Responders were 24.2 +/- 7.9 months postoperatively. They were older than nonresponders (45.2 +/- 9.9 vs 38.5 +/- 8.9 years, P<.001). Responders had an average weight loss of 55.8 +/- 15.2 kg, and most (81%) reported that they were still trying to lose weight. The most frequently reported dietary behavior for weight loss was decreasing calorie and fat intakes. However, in addition to avoiding sodas and sweet desserts, responders were also excluding nutrient-dense foods high in vitamins and minerals such as milk and dairy products, red meats, breads, cereals and nuts. Remarkably, only 25 (17.9%) engaged in regular exercise activities before surgery, while 116 (82.9%) indicated a moderate level of current physical activity averaging 54.7 +/- 38.5 minutes per episode. Multivariable linear regression analyses identified age, weight at age 21, pre-surgery BMI and time in regular physical activities as the four significant predictors of BMI after weight loss stabilization.
CONCLUSION - Postoperative RYGBP patients engage in various weight management behaviors, some of which could offer greater health benefits with follow-up intervention from dietitians and exercise specialists to prevent adverse outcomes such as weight regain and micronutrient deficiencies.