For Heart Health, Weight Loss Surgery Makes Sense


When it comes to improving your heart health and reducing your risk of heart attack or stroke, losing weight as soon as possible is the best choice. For those who have struggled with obesity since their earliest days, this could mean taking big steps to fight obesity before even graduating from high school.

Teenagers are struggling with obesity at an ever-increasing rate. Currently, just under 10 percent of teenagers in the United States are obese, and this number is expected to continue to climb as obesity rates across the country increase. Obesity poses severe health risks for anyone who is overweight, including an increased risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and stroke. However, for those who become obese in their earlier years, the risk for these associated health concerns becomes significantly larger.

Teenagers who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults, and therefore are more likely to experience heart disease earlier in life. Researchers have recently found that interfering with the progression of obesity early on in life can lead to significant health improvements, greatly reducing the risk of heart disease later on.

In the past, many experts did not recommend weight loss surgery for young adults, as it was considered a last-resort. Overweight and obese teens were encouraged to work through more traditional diet programs, and then when those didn’t work could look into weight loss surgery as adults. However, weight loss surgery is continuously proven to be the most successful weight loss tool, with the greatest health outcomes, and so waiting for years to undergo the procedure may not make much sense—especially when it comes to heart health.

Of course, weight loss surgery is not the only strategy that can be used to improve heart health. You can take steps to protect your heart by:

  • Making dietary changes, especially reducing foods that are high in fat and cholesterol from your diet.
  • Developing a daily exercise program, specifically including cardiovascular activities like walking or swimming
  • Taking steps to reduce stress in your life

It is not only teens who will benefit from weight loss surgery for their heart health. The longer you’ve struggled with obesity, the higher your risk of heart disease becomes. Talk to your weight loss surgeon about whether or not bariatric surgery would be a beneficial option for your health.