A child who is overweight or obese is more likely to be overweight or obese as an adult.
Children with obesity have health problems that used to be seen only in adults. When these problems begin in childhood, they often become worse in adulthood. A child who is overweight or obese is also more likely to have problems such as:
Poor grades in school
Weight-loss Surgery and Teenagers
Many adults who have weight-loss surgery are able to lose a large amount of weight. This weight loss can have health benefits such as:
Better control of diabetes
Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
Fewer sleep problems
In the United States, gastric bypass operations have been used with success in teenagers. After any weight-loss surgery, your child will:
The child has not been able to lose weight while on a diet and exercise program for at least 6 months, while under the care of a physician.
The teenager should be finished growing (usually 13-years-old or older for girls and 15-years-old or older for boys).
Parents and the teen must understand and be willing to follow the many lifestyle changes that are necessary after surgery.
The teen has not used any illegal substances (alcohol or drugs) during the 12 months before surgery.
Children who have weight-loss surgery should receive care at an adolescent bariatric surgery center. There, a team of experts will give them the special care they need.
Is Weight-loss Surgery Safe for Teens?
The studies that have been done on bariatric surgery in teens show these operations are as safe for this age group as for adults. However, too little research has been done to show if there are any long-term effects on growth for teens that undergo weight loss surgery.
Teenagers‘ bodies are still changing and developing. They will need to be careful to get enough nutrients during the period of weight loss following surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery changes the way some nutrients are absorbed. Teens that have weight-loss surgery will need to take certain vitamins and minerals for the rest of their life.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.