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Obes Surg. 2011 Sep;21(9):1382-8. doi: 10.1007/s11695-011-0360-y.

Nutritional intake and prevalence of nutritional deficiencies prior to surgery in a Spanish morbidly obese population.

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Functional Unit of Obesity, Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Hospital Clinic Universitari, Barcelona, Spain.



The prevalence of obesity in Spain is on the rise with the consequent increase in bariatric surgery. Studies in non-Mediterranean populations have shown that micronutrient deficits are present before surgery. However, there is no data on this topic in a Spanish population.


We evaluated food intake and the prevalence of nutritional deficiencies in 231 obese patient (72.3% women, 45.6 ± 9.9 years, BMI 48.2 ± 7.8 kg/m(2)) candidates for bariatric surgery. Forty-six normal weight individuals with similar demographic variables except BMI were included for comparison of deficiencies.


In obese subjects, the mean estimated energy intake was 2,584 ± 987 kcal/day in males and 2,094 ± 669 kcal/day in females (p < 0.05). After adjusting for kilocalorie intake, carbohydrate intake was of 38.7% [CI 36.2 to 41.1] and 39.9% [CI 37.8 to 40.8] (n.s.), lipid intake was 41.9% [CI 39.6 to 44.2] and 43.0% [CI 41.7 to 44.8] (n.s.) and protein intake was 19.1% [CI 17.7 to 20.5] and 17.3% [CI 16.4 to 18.1] (n.s.) for men and women, respectively. The most prevalent deficiency was vitamin D25(OH): obese 94%, control 24%; (p < 0.0001). Above normal PTH levels were observed in 41.0% and 20.0% of obese and normal weight subjects, respectively (p < 0.0497). Increased prevalence of deficiencies in obese patients included magnesium, vitamin B6 and anaemia (p < 0.05). Other vitamin deficiencies were observed although did not reach statistical significance.


Nutritional deficiencies are commonly found in the Spanish obese population undergoing bariatric surgery and are significantly more prevalent than in normal weight individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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