Gastric banding linked to nutritional deficits

Dietitians Association of Australia spokesperson Melanie McGrice said deficiencies in nutrients such as protein, iron, folate and calcium were more common in people who had had gastric banding than in those who had not had surgery to lose weight.

“I think what’s happening is that people are reducing their portion sizes but they are not necessarily changing their eating habits, so they are having smaller portions of often high kilojoule foods,” Ms McGrice said.

In a commentary published in a general practice journal, Ms McGrice said GPs or other doctors needed to assess these patients’ biochemistry for nutritional deficiencies annually for the rest of their life.

International guidelines recommended patients see a dietitian after surgery and Medicare funding should be available for this, ideally by including patients who have had gastric banding surgery in extended care plans.

However, Associate Professor John Dixon,