March 9, 2014
Gastric bypass is often seen as the magic bullet for obese patients. But is it ready for kids? The number of obese teens has nearly tripled for American teenagers in the past 20 years 14 per cent of adolescents aged 12 to 19 were overweight in 1999. For those who are obese, more and more research is pointing to gastric bypass surgery as a realistic option. Brazilian doctors followed 42 extremely overweight teens for two years after they underwent the stomach surgery to see how well they fared. The young patients lost half their body weight and were cured of the high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes caused by their obesity. Good news for very large kids, but there are cautions. Surgery can be risky, and while weight-loss is initially quite dramatic, old eating habits can creep back along with some of the weight. Adults with gastric bypass can often gain back all their lost pounds within 10 years of having surgery. Nutrition experts still say the best way to cure obesity is through prevention. Helping your child cut calories when they are young will help they avoid the knife as the get older.