Obese Adolescents May Benefit Gastric Bypass Surgery

Sometimes being overweight as a child turns a person into a fitness buff as an adult. Jennifer Hudson wore a size 16 as a teenager, but through diet and exercise lost 80 pounds. Superfit Superman star Henry Cavill says "Fat Cavill" was his nickname as a kid. And in school, Kate Winslet says she was nicknamed "Blubber." But not every obese or overweight kid finds a way to slim down and shape up.

Obesity affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the U.S. Add overweight stats to the mix and, according to the National Institutes of Health, 32% of U.S. children are at risk for excess-weight-related problems such as premature heart disease, depression and diabetes.

What can be done? As a nation - and in every family - we have to offer kids support so they can enjoy an active life and access to healthy food. For kids who can't escape their weight-related challenges, it may be smart to consider gastric bypass.

One recent study looked at the effect of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass on adolescents and found that compared with adults, although relative weight loss was similar for both groups, the surgery was associated with higher remission rates of diabetes and high blood pressure for the youngsters.

So if your teen is obese and his or her weight-loss efforts have not succeeded, talk to your doc about the possible benefits and risks of gastric bypass surgery. While it requires consistent and enduring lifestyle changes, it may be your child's best chance for a healthy future that avoids obesity-related, life-shortening conditions.

© 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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