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Weight Loss Surgery For Teens?

Posted Feb 10 2010 6:03pm

With the effort to reduce childhood obesity on the rise since Michelle Obama's involvement was announced, do we as society want to promote surgery as an option for teens seeking weight loss? I ABSOLUTELY don't think so! I don't think barbaric, I mean bariatric surgery is an option for ANYONE much less teenagers!

However, I pose this question to you because a higher percentage of severely obese adolescents who received laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding lost more than 50 percent of excess weight and experienced greater benefits to health and quality of life compared to those in an intensive lifestyle management program, according to a study in the February 10 issue of JAMA.-- report coming out on weight loss surgery benefits for teens --

The Obama admistration is health care happy, willing to doll out tax dollars to cover everyone, including the obese and with surgery being shown to create weight loss in those who go that route, I think that the reminder needs to be given that a change in diet is still necessary, not just to maintain weight loss but for good health. While Mrs Obama plants fruits and vegetables her husband orders french fries at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries on a regular basis--not to mention that he smokes cigarettes! (Obesity is the leading cause of preventable death, smoking/lung cancer is #2--please Mr. President, lead by example!)

I can't tell you how many post-gastric bypass surgery patients come to ME desperate to learn how to live healthier lifestyles after having the procedure, losing weight and proceding to gain some if not all of it back.

No amount of weight loss and no healthy weight is going to provide good health without the right diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables (and now, a word from our sponsor!: for those who do not get enough of those foods, we recommend Juice Plus+ which contains nutrients from a variety of those foods in the Juice Plus + capsules). 

The JAMA study notes that Adolescent obesity is a serious health challenge globally. In the U.S., more than 17.4 percent, or more than 5 million adolescents were obese in 2004, an increase from 14.8 percent in 2000. Obesity is associated with both immediate and late health effects and reduced life expectancy, according to background information in the article. Lifestyle programs that have included changes in diet, exercise, and behavior to promote weight loss often have poor results. "Bariatric surgery is now extensively used for adults and is being evaluated for adolescents," the authors write. "Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (gastric banding) has the potential to provide a safe and effective treatment."

Paul E. O'Brien, M.D., F.R.A.C.S., and colleagues of Monash University and the Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, conducted a study to examine whether gastric banding would induce more weight loss and would provide greater health benefits and better improvement in the quality of life of severely obese adolescents than the application of currently available lifestyle approaches. The randomized controlled trial included 50 adolescents between 14 and 18 years of age with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 35 who were assigned either to participate in a supervised lifestyle intervention or to undergo gastric banding, and followed up for 2 years. The lifestyle intervention program included reduced calorie intake, increased activity and behavioral modification. The study was performed between May 2005 and September 2008. Twenty-four of 25 patients in the gastric banding group and 18 of 25 in the lifestyle group completed the study.

The researchers found that the primary outcome of greater than 50 percent of excess weight loss was achieved by 21 of 25 participants (84 percent) in the gastric banding group and 3 of 25 (12 percent) in the lifestyle group. At 2 years the gastric banding group had lost an average of about 76 lbs., representing an overall average loss of 28.3 percent of total body weight and 78.8 percent excess weight loss. The lifestyle group lost an average of 6.6 lbs., representing an average 3.1 percent total weight loss and 13.2 percent excess weight loss. The differences between groups was significant for all weight measures at 24 months. ()

Bottom Line:  All the surgeries in the world won't provide the health that you will get from a healthy diet, especially one that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates...and, plent of water. This option for surgery is not one that we should be promoting or talking about. Unfortunately, this just shows how out of control the problem is, otherwise there wouldn't be TV shows about obese people... a common site on the cable menu. If you want to be healthy, it takes more than being a healthy weight. So if you need to lose weight, use a weight loss plan that focuses on your lifestyle and habits more than your actualy weight.

If the Obamas want to solve childhood obesity? Place a ban on the purchase OR consumption of soft drinks for anyone under the age of 21, a ban on the purchase OR consumption of Big Macs, fries, icecream sundaes, candy bars.....you know, 'the good stuff' on anyone under the age of 21! Demand that anyone under 21 get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day or their guardians have to pay a tax/fee/fine for not enforcing the jumping jacks bill.

Think I am crazy yet? Think about it. We don't let kids buy cigarettes because we KNOW they are unhealthy and adictive. We don't let kids make the decision to drink alcohol because we KNOW it is unhealthy and aditctive. Yet any kid in America can buy a 64 ounce soft drink, a Big Mac, supersized fries and consume them in the comfort of the minivan watching a movie as they are driven home.

Mrs Obama, you have good intentions but you really want to solve the problem, you are going to have to piss off a lof of corporations, i.e. donors/lobbyist, etc.....big food, big soda, etc. Good luck.

If you don't get enough fruits and vegetables in your diet, add Juice Plus +.

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