Photo-Assisted Dietary Method Improves Estimates of Dietary Intake Among People with Sleeve Gastrectomy



Bariatric operations are effective obesity treatments because of the significant reductions in food intake after surgery, but weight regain remains a problem in a small group of patients after surgery. Estimating food intake is difficult due to dieting status, weight, gender, and challenges with estimating portion size. We aimed to evaluate the use of digital food photography in comparison to conventional methods among patients after sleeve gastrectomy.


Participants used a mobile device (mHealth) to photo-document their dietary intake of all food and beverages consumed before and after eating. They also completed a 24 h food recall interview with a dietician.


Data from 383 eating occasions were analyzed. Food intake using 24 h recall was reported as 972.5 ± 77 kcal and estimates from photographs were 802.9 ± 63.4 kcal, with a difference of 169.6 ± 451.4 kcal (95% confidence interval (CI) of 41.4 to 297.9 kcal, p = 0.005). There was no difference for protein intake, but carbohydrate intake reported during the 24 h recall was 541.2 ± 298 kcal and estimates from photographs were 395.2 ± 219.6 kcal, with a difference of 145.8 ± 256.3 kcal (95% CI of 73.2 to 218.8 kcal, p = 0.0001).


After sleeve gastrectomy, patients reported eating more total calories and calories from carbohydrates compared to estimations using photographs. The implication for patients are that tools such as mHealth might be useful to optimize food intake and calories after sleeve gastrectomy, especially for those patients that may struggle with weight regain after surgery.

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We would like to thank all the participants for giving up their time to participate in this study. The authors gratefully acknowledge the clinical service unit at Dasman Diabetes Institute and the Ministory of Health Kuwait.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ebaa Al-Ozairi.

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Conflict of Interest

Professor Carel Le Roux received grants from Johnson and Johnson and AnaBio. Also speaker fees from Eli Lilly, Johnson and Johnson, Sanofi Aventis, Astra Zeneca, Janssen, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, p Boehringer-Ingelheim, outside the submitted work. He is on the advisory board of NovoNordisk and GI dynamics. Professor le Roux has nothing to disclose related to this manuscript. All the other authors declare no conflict of interest

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Al-Ozairi, E., AlAwadhi, M.M., Al Kandari, J. et al. Photo-Assisted Dietary Method Improves Estimates of Dietary Intake Among People with Sleeve Gastrectomy. OBES SURG 29, 1602–1606 (2019).

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  • Obesity surgery
  • Food photography
  • mHealth
  • Nutrition