Document Type



Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name

Adriana Campa

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mariana Baum

Third Advisor's Name

Susan Himburg

Fourth Advisor's Name

Paulette Johnson


nutrition education, weight loss, comprehensive education, morbid obesity, Hispanic-Americans obesity, lifestyle intervention, gastric bypass, surgery

Date of Defense



As morbid obesity increasingly affects Hispanic-Americans, the incidence of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedures (RYGB) among this population rises. Prospective research on the impact of postoperative educational interventions focused on Hispanic-Americans is needed to prevent premature weight loss plateau, weight regain, nutritional deficiencies, and relapse of obesity-related comorbidities. This randomized-controlled study evaluated the impact of a comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle education intervention (6 biweekly postoperative sessions that incorporated motivational strategies for behavioral change) as compared to a non-comprehensive approach (printed guidelines for healthy lifestyle). The variables to consider are body weight, obesity-related comorbidities (depression, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and others), nutrient status, physical activity, and eating habits in 144 morbidly-obese adult Hispanic-Americans 6 to 12 months following RYGB. Patients were randomly assigned to either the comprehensive intervention (n=72) or the comparison group (n=72). Participants (mean age 44.5 ± 13.5 years) were mainly Cuban-born females (83.3%). Intervention sessions attendance was 64%. At 12 months, both groups lost weight significantly, but those in the comprehensive intervention experienced greater excess weight loss than those in the comparison group (80% vs. 64% from preoperative excess weight, P<.001). Intervention participants were significantly more involved in physical activity (+ 14 min/week vs. – 4 min/week), had decreased depression, joint illness, and required less medication for comorbidities than comparison participants. Additionally, those in the comprehensive intervention had sustained supplement intake experiencing less folate deficiency (P=.014). The non-comprehensive intervention group significantly decreased their protein and supplement intake compared to the intervention group. Patients in the comprehensive intervention had significantly better eating habits reflected by fewer episodes of dumping syndrome, constipation, and night eating, than those in the comparison group who reported greater eating in response to negative emotions (P=.003). These findings support the importance of a comprehensive educational approach to achieve more effective weight reduction and health-related outcomes to prevent relapse of obesity-related comorbidities and nutritional deficiencies in Hispanic-Americans 6 to 12 months following RYGB.





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