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Thread: More severely obese kids should get surgery, MD group says

  1. #1
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    More severely obese kids should get surgery, MD group says

    More severely obese kids should get surgery, MD group says
    By LINDSEY TANNER
    2 hours ago

    Even some severely obese preteens should be considered for weight loss surgery, according to new recommendations.

    The guidance issued Sunday by the American Academy of Pediatrics is based on a review of medical evidence, including several studies showing that surgery in teens can result in marked weight loss lasting at least several years, with few complications. In many cases, related health problems including diabetes and high blood pressure vanished after surgery.

    While most of those studies involved teens, one included children younger than 12 and found no ill effects on growth, the policy says.


    “Safe and effective is the message here,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong, a Duke University pediatrics professor and the policy’s lead author.

    Armstrong said children who have not gone through puberty may not be mature enough to understand the life-changing implications of surgery but that age alone shouldn’t rule it out. She doesn’t do surgery but works at a center that offers it; the youngest patient was 14.

    It’s not a quick fix, she said. “It’s a lifelong decision with implications every single day for the rest of your life.”

    Nearly 5 million U.S. children and teens are severely obese, a near doubling over 20 years. Many have already developed related health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and liver disease. But most kids don’t get obesity surgery, mainly because most public and private health insurance doesn’t cover it or they live far from surgery centers, Armstrong said. Costs can total at least $20,000.

    Resistance from pediatricians is another obstacle. Many prefer “watchful waiting,” or think surgery is risky or will alter kids’ growth. Some don’t recommend surgery because they think “weight is a personal responsibility rather than a medical problem,” the new policy states.

    Dr. Rebecca Carter, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said the new recommendations give pediatricians better guidance about which patients should be referred and evaluated.

    Recent data show that pediatric obesity surgery rates have tripled in almost 20 years but still average fewer than 2,000 operations each year.
    I'm not so sure about this. A certain percentage of adults have serious trouble maintaining normal vitamin/mineral levels after this surgery even with specialized supplements and a bigger number have permanent...uh...elimination issues. Then there's the weight regain for some.

    Childhood obesity really is a big problem. I'm just not sure this is the answer.

    AP
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Childhood obesity really is a big problem. I'm just not sure this is the answer.
    Stop feeding those kids free food. Snack, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, backpacks full of food. How about making them earn some of that food by doing actual physical work...………….

  3. #3
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    There's something to the snack thing.

    Toddlers really do need snacks because they can't physically eat enough to go for hours without running out of gas. Older kids probably don't need constant refueling.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post

    Older kids probably don't need constant refueling.
    They certainly didn't 50 -60 -100 years ago. Now? Well, they're "food insecure".

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