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Myth: Gastric Bypass Patients Can Never Be Nutritionally Healthy

A common claim from gastric bypass detractors is that after surgery patients can never be nutritionally healthy and they must take daily vitamin supplements just to survive.

It is a mistaken notion that weight loss surgery patients cannot lead a nutritionally sound life. The assumption is due to the restrictive and malabsorptive nature of the surgery it is impossible to eat a nutritionally sound diet. However, when healthy food choices are combined with a solid vitamin and mineral supplement program bariatric patients do enjoy sound nutritional health. In fact, after surgery, most weight loss patients are more nutritionally healthy than before surgery.

Furthermore, evidence suggests most Americans should take vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure nutritional wellness. In the 2005 Dietary Guidelines published jointly by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health & Human Services the government concedes that dietary supplements are a useful source of nutrients when nutritional needs are not being met through diet.

Here's the quote: "A basic premise of the Dietary Guidelines is that nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods. . . In certain cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful sources of one or more nutrients that otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts."

In most cases Americans, even those criticizing gastric bypass, don't meet their RDI of vitamins. Furthermore, most Americans do not know the specific guidelines are for vitamin and mineral intake. Even more alarming, because Americans do not consistently have annual check-ups and blood work, many do not know the state of their nutritional health.

WLS patients who return annually to their bariatric centers undergo blood tests to screen for nutritional health. Most patients meet with a nutritionist to assess vitamin and mineral needs and make adjustments for better health. Gastric bypass patients are on top of the nutritional game when they follow the program.

Bariatric patients who desire optimum health and nutrition will take dietary supplements daily. Combined with wise healthful food choices they can meet their body's nutritional needs.

The Food and Drug Administration considers vitamins, minerals, herbals and botanicals, animal extracts, amino acids, proteins, concentrates, and teas dietary supplements. The FDA governs the labeling and intake recommendations for dietary supplements. The following are FDA terms for describing dietary and nutritional needs:

DVs: Daily Values - Daily values are two sets of references: DRV's and RDIs.

DRVs: Daily Reference Values - a set of dietary references that applies to fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, protein, fiber, sodium, and potassium

RDIs: Reference Daily Intakes - a set of dietary references based on the Recommended Dietary Allowances for essential vitamins and minerals and, in selected groups, protein. RDI's are essential to our health.

RDAs: Recommended Dietary Allowances - a set of estimated nutrient allowances required daily to maintain good health - established by the National Academy of Sciences. It is updated periodically to reflect current scientific knowledge. RDA's set the minimum intakes of vitamins and minerals and protein needed for the average person to stay healthy.

© 2005 Kaye Bailey - All Rights Reserved

Kaye Bailey is a weight loss surgery success story having maintained her health and goal weight for 5+ years. An award winning journalist, she is the author and webmaster of and

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