The Relationship Between Bariatric Surgery and Diet Quality: a Systematic Review



Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment for morbid obesity. These procedures change the gastrointestinal system with the aim of reducing dietary intake. Improving diet quality is essential in maintaining nutritional health and achieving long-term benefits from the surgery. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the relationship between bariatric surgery and diet quality at least 1 year after surgery.


A systematic search of five databases was conducted. Studies were included that reported diet quality, eating pattern, or quality of eating in adult patients who had undergone laparoscopic-adjusted gastric banding (LAGB), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), and sleeve gastrectomy (SG) procedures. Data was extracted to determine the relationship between having had bariatric surgery and subsequent diet quality.


A total of 34 study articles (described in 36 articles) met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies were observational in nature and showed a reduction in energy intake following surgery, as well as inadequate intakes of micronutrients and protein, and an excessive intake of fats. There was evidence of nutrient imbalances, suboptimal compliance with multivitamin and mineral supplementation, and limited follow-up of patients.


The current evidence base suggests that despite being effective in reducing energy intake, bariatric surgery can result in unbalanced diets, inadequate micronutrient and protein intakes, and excessive intakes of fats. In combination with suboptimal adherence to multivitamin and mineral supplementation, this may contribute to nutritional deficiencies and weight regain. There is a need for high-quality nutrition studies, to identify optimal dietary compositions following bariatric surgery.

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Correspondence to Nazy Zarshenas.

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Zarshenas, N., Tapsell, L.C., Neale, E.P. et al. The Relationship Between Bariatric Surgery and Diet Quality: a Systematic Review. OBES SURG (2020) doi:10.1007/s11695-020-04392-9

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  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gastric banding
  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Gastric bypass
  • Diet quality
  • Food groups
  • Nutrition