Teenage life is the most exciting stage in every person’s life. We experience a lot of changes when we reach this stage, from physical change to psychological and even emotional change. This is the period when we love experimenting, discovering, and exploring life, sometimes without regard for the consequences.
Dealing with obesity within the teenage population is quite complicated. It is not just about changing your eating habits and choosing the right food to eat. Obesity is something that must be taken seriously. Research indicates that adolescents represent 1/5 of the world’s population, and together with the increasing number of the world’s population is the occurrence of teenage obesity.
Related: Causes of Obesity
The Dangers of Obesity
Obesity is considered one of the most common problems in the US and other developed countries and has already reached alarming levels. Weight can be a real problem within the teenage population as they are more likely to feel isolated for fear of being criticized or bullied. The result is that many teens become depressed, which can increase hate and insecurities for themselves and others.
Obesity is not just as simple as being overweight since the latter can be treated by having a healthy diet and exercise. Obesity is not an ordinary health problem; it is a medical condition in which excess body fats have accumulated and may bring health risks. Several factors make a person obese, such as little physical activity, hormonal changes, America’s penchant for large portions of fast foods, and metabolic disorders.
Pediatric Genetic Obesity
Monogenic and syndromic forms of obesity in children are rare genetic-related early-onset obesity. Monogenic non-syndromic obesity is caused by a single gene (monogene) mutation. The single gene mutation is enough to cause severe obesity in food-abundant societies.
Syndromic obesity includes neurodevelopmental disorders, dysmorphic features, and organ-specific formation irregularities. The most common syndromes linked to obesity are Prader-Willi syndrome, Bardet-Biedlsyndrome (BBS), and Alstrom syndrome.
Gastric sleeve surgery and other forms of bariatric surgery in this group of patients has shown to alleviate suffering and save their life.
What are the Options for Obese Teenagers?
While there are many weight loss programs available to choose from, one of the most common or most recommended treatments for obesity, aside from diet and exercise, is weight loss surgery or also known as Bariatric surgery. But the question is, is it right for obese teenagers to undergo this kind of surgery? Or the most important issue is, is it safe?
Based on research, teen weight loss surgery has been found to be as safe as adult weight loss surgery. But despite the fact that weight loss surgery for teens is considered safe, there are still risks that must be taken into consideration.
Bariatric surgery includes different procedures performed on obese people. Three types of weight loss can be performed on teens:
- Gastric Bypass surgery – It is a process wherein the surgeon creates a small pouch by stapling off a large portion of the stomach and connecting the tiny pouch directly to the small intestine. This makes the stomach hold less food and creates malabsorption of nutrients, resulting in weight loss from -restriction and malabsorption.
- Gastric Banding – reduces the size of the stomach by using a restrictive device to create a small pouch, but banding does not interfere with food absorption in the small intestine.
- Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy removes ¾ of the stomach laparoscopically, resulting in weight loss from the tiny portions but no malabsorption.
How do Teens undergo Bariatric Surgery?
A teen candidate for weight loss surgery must also be prepared physically and emotionally and have enough support from parents. Weight loss surgery is only a tool. The teen must be ready and committed to keeping up with the new lifestyle right after surgery.
Like any other surgery, weight loss surgery also has its risks, like occasional discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea, especially when the patient has eaten too much or fast. Teen patients undergoing weight loss surgery must start again with a new eating approach. It will entail many adjustments and lifestyle changes that may take time.
Bariatric surgery is the best way to deal with obesity; along with proper diet, exercise, and, of course, a positive disposition. Every single penny, discomfort, and struggle are all worth it.
Most importantly, with weight loss or Bariatric surgery, an obese teen will have the opportunity to establish a more balanced relationship with food and exercise. The teen may enjoy life once again with heightened confidence and self-esteem and end their struggle with obesity forever.