Body composition and energy expenditure after weight loss following bariatric surgery

J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Apr;19(2):270-4. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2000.10718926.


Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) in the treatment of morbid obesity and to evaluate how the procedure affects body weight.

Subjects: Fourteen morbidly obese subjects studied before and 30 months after BPD and fifteen healthy volunteers matched for age, sex and height (controls).

Methods: Comparison of the following parameters were made in the study groups before surgery and 30 months after BPD and with those of the controls group: fat mass, fat-free mass, non-protein substrate oxidation, basal metabolic rate, plasma glucose, insulin and free fatty acid concentrations.

Results: Obese subjects lost 60.38+/-10.71 kg of weight during 18 months following surgery and then remained stable for another 12 months, when this study was performed. Weight loss was substantially due to a loss of fat mass (FM: 60.13+/-13.01 kg before and 19.02+/-8.61 kg after BPD; p<0.001). FM were not statistically different between post-obese subjects and controls; however, post-obese patients retained significantly more fat free mass (FFM) than controls. Subsequently, basal metabolic rates of post-obese subjects were higher than those of the control group (p<0.05). Fasting non-protein respiratory quotient (npRQ) was significantly lower before BPD than 30 months after the surgery (0.798+/-0.04 vs. 0.90+/-0.048, p<0.001), suggesting that, while obese, patients oxidized more lipids than carbohydrates. Moreover, fasting and two-hour plasma glucose and insulin concentrations decreased significantly after BPD to values comparable to those of the control group.

Conclusion: Weight loss in obese patients after BPD is mainly due to lipid malabsorption, but increased energy expenditure associated with retaining a high FFM in physically active post-obese subjects may also play a role, enabling them to maintain long-term reduced body weights.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism
  • Biliopancreatic Diversion*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Composition*
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Weight Loss*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin