Addressing Teen Obesity
Weight loss surgery has long been respected as one of the most successful treatment methods for adults who have struggled with obesity for a long period of time, but hasn’t been recommended for those who are under the age of 20. In fact, the average weight loss surgery patient is a good deal older than that, with the majority of bariatric procedures performed on individuals in their 40s.
As the success of weight loss surgery becomes more evident and the associated risks of the procedures are reduced with the advancements in minimal and non-invasive procedures, weight loss experts are starting to assess the benefits of the treatment for those outside of the primary age group. A few years ago, recommendations were published regarding the benefits of weight loss surgery for those over the age of 65, who previously were considered a high-risk group based on more advanced age. The same type of precautions and questions have been held surrounding the use of weight loss surgery as a treatment for teenagers who struggle with obesity, but know the rhetoric surrounding the best treatments for teen obesity is starting to change, as well.
Why Try Weight Loss Surgery?
Obesity is a medical problem, and the longer you live with obesity the more health risk you are exposed to. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for developing health problems like heart disease, type-2 diabetes and even certain cancers. Aside from major chronic illnesses like these, being obese puts extra pressure on your joints and can even cause arthritis.
Those who are living with excess weight early on in life are not exempt from these health problems. The rates of type-2 diabetes among children is on the rise, and teenagers who are obese are facing the risk of heart disease and joint trouble, just like their parents.
There is a rising perspective across the bariatric community that addressing obesity early on in life by allowing teenagers to get weight loss surgery can provide drastic improvements to their quality of life, providing an avenue for teenagers to overcome obesity during the most formative years of their life, thereby increasing the likelihood of a healthy adulthood that is free from so many of the health risks obesity poses.
We know that individuals who are overweight or obese as children are more likely to struggle with obesity long into adulthood. It makes sense to provide resources to teenagers to help them overcome obesity earlier in life, paving the way for a healthier lifestyle long-term.