September 30, 2015 – Obese but Not Healthy


Anchor lead:  What’s the nutritional status of people who are obese? Elizabeth Tracey reports

In spite of consuming large amounts of food, a surprising number of people who are very overweight, so-called morbidly obese, are nutritionally compromised.  That’s according to a Johns Hopkins study led by Kimberley Steele, a bariatric surgeon

Steele: We looked at baseline nutrition, and we found one in five had more than three micronutrient deficiencies.  This is alarming for us, we need to then consider what this means in the perioperative period for our bariatric patients.  More studies need to be done now to look to see whether patients who are undergoing bariatric surgery, they might have these deficiencies , should we be addressing them prior to surgery?    :29

Steele says assessments of a number of so-called micronutrients, including vitamins, revealed deficiencies.  She says at this point it’s not known whether supplements or other strategies should be employed to improve nutrition prior to surgery, although generally improving health does have positive impacts on outcomes.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.