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Should obese children have weight loss surgery?

Posted May 08 2010 9:21am

This month, there has been a lot of talk about whether or not it would be a healthy option for obese children to have bariatric surgeries.

It seems like a very complicated topic as the alarmingly high number of obese children in America is a strong indicator of the alarmingly high rate of obesity amongst all of the people in our country.

I do not yet have children and so I am not sure how I would feel if I were to have a child who was obese, knowing the potential health risks they have as a result of their obesity, if I would turn to a surgery like this, which also has very serious risks.

Doctors say there are many risks to subjecting a child in particular to this type of surgery, and that there is still so much that is unknown about obese children, leading them to discourage parents from turning to surgery as the first option when their child is obese.

It seems practical to me that the first option-for a child or an adult-should be to try and make a major lifestyle overhaul, changing the entire way you think about food, consume food, and exercise, before turning to any medical procedure that has significant risks.

But when it comes to children, I feel even moreso that we should consider alternative options before turning to surgery. Many children who have had the surgery have proven to have improved heart conditions and an improved quality of life.

While the surgery can help many obese children, still some doctors are hesitant to refer young patients for the surgery.

What do YOU think? Should children be able to have bariatric surgery?

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