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Gastric Banding Proposed for Obese Teens

Gastric Banding Proposed for Obese Teens

Obesity is estimated to affect an estimated five million young people in the United States alone. Studies are currently underway to evaluate laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding as a possible treatment option for adolescents.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 12.4 percent of 2-5 year olds are obese; for 6-11 year-olds it’s 17.0 percent; and for 12-19 year-olds it’s 17.6 percent. Health risks as a result of obesity include heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and sleep apnea. Obesity in childhood often leads to obesity in adulthood.

A randomized trial reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared the outcomes of gastric banding with an optimal lifestyle program and concluded that “among obese adolescent participants, use of gastric banding compared with lifestyle intervention resulted in a greater percentage achieving a loss of 50 percent of excess weight, corrected for age. There were associated benefits to health and quality of life.”

After following the subjects for two years, researchers found that the gastric banding group lost an average of 28.3 percent of total body weight and 78.8 percent excess weight. The lifestyle only group lost an average of 3.1 percent of total body weight and 13.2 percent of excess weight. There were some complications, with one in three patients requiring follow-up surgeries.

In laparoscopic gastric banding, an adjustable band is placed around the stomach to decrease its size. It is a less invasive procedure than gastric bypass or stomach stapling and the band can be adjusted or removed later. Long-term outcome is unknown at this time.

ABC News reports that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering broadening its standards on gastric banding to include teens aged 14 to 17. The procedure is currently approved for adults only.

Despite the positive results of the gastric banding study, barring the most urgent of circumstances, one must question such drastic measures in the very young.

The results of the study were released on the heels of First Lady Michelle Obama’s announcement that she will be championing the cause of ending childhood obesity. A newly launched website, LetsMove.gov, provides information on the lifestyle and societal changes necessary to move kids toward a healthier life.

The single most important weapon we have in the fight against childhood obesity is ourselves. In most cases, childhood obesity is brought on by poor eating habits learned in very early childhood and reinforced by parental example. Whether we have young children at home or not, we are part of a society that has lost its way when it comes to matters of health — diet and exercise in particular. It is within our power to change, and we shouldn’t waste another minute.

What do you think? Please take a moment to answer the poll below and share your thoughts on gastric banding for obese teens. Is it a reasonable solution to a serious problem… or part of a larger problem?

Related Reading on Care2:

Micelle Obama Taking on Childhood Obesity Crisis

Chemicals in Plastics Linked to Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity and Parental Responsibility

Is the USDA Trying to Kill Our Kids?

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Photo: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/845205


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10:39PM PDT on May 27, 2010

How about the parents stop enabling these fatsos by not buying crap food such as MacDonalds & KFC and getting their children to take up a sport. Unfortunately, the parents are likely to be lazy, lard-arses also !

2:25PM PST on Feb 17, 2010

how about just forcing obese people onto a diet?

"it's not my fault, it's genetic/a glandular condition/I'm big boned" they cry as they cram another dozen chocolate cream buns down their throats...

yes, in a very few cases, it is something beyond their control.
the rest are just lazy fat pugs.

8:45AM PST on Feb 17, 2010

I voted "leaning yes" bacause if my obese teen-age daughter begged me I would give her permission.

8:43PM PST on Feb 16, 2010

No need blaming parents for obese kids, there are those who could do better, inactivity and bad food choices, but over all it is the additives and garbage in our foods, even so called healthy foods. The government really does little if nothing to regulate our foods, they don't care about any of us.
Fast foods, soft drinks, artificial sugars etc. are huge problems for all of us. We can't blame the kids. Our meats aren't fit for food, dairy is only liquid meat and full of hormones.....we all need to grow our own foods that aren't grown with pesticides, contaminated with industrial fallout, in our own area so we can get them while they are still fresh and not GMO foods.
Putting the lives of children at risk by dangerous surgeries should be a last resort. My heart bleeds for obese children,
for obese people. Some try hard to lose weight, how can they when their food is all bad for them? Milk is food for baby calfs, not people! It's time we all wise up.

3:38PM PST on Feb 16, 2010

Very interesting and informative post, thanks!

8:48AM PST on Feb 16, 2010

Let's try providing as much nutrtion advice as we can thru schools, including actually showing teens and tehir families how to shop/cook in their area on their budgets!

5:28AM PST on Feb 16, 2010

"Microwaved food is the worst thing that anyone can eat. The radiation is not only dangerous to their overall health, but the microwave ovens kill off any nutrients that were in the food and, in fact, change the molecular structure of the food. It's like eating plutonium, which is highly toxic and disrupts the endocrine levels."

Drina R. - it sounds like you are mixing up microwave radiation with ionizing radiation. I suggest you take a look at this picture illustrating the electromagnetic spectrum. As you can see, ionizing radiation (like for example x-ray and gamma ray radiation) is at the far right of the spectrum and therefore a lot more energetic than microwaves. Plutonium emits a kind of ionizing radiation, and this is what makes it so harmful - when Plutonium is ingested the radiation it emits is energetic enough to damage human DNA.
Microwaves on the other hand are even less energetic than visible light. They cannot damage human DNA, and something that has been microwaved does not emit any kind of radiation.
It is true that microwaving can destroy some nutrients by rearranging molecules. Cooking does that, too, so do many other forms of food preparation. At the same time these forms of preparation also make some nutrients available to us that we would not be able to extract from unprepared food. And actually, microwaving lowers nutrient levels less than cooking: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/17/health/17real.html

12:37AM PST on Feb 15, 2010

Obesity being both a physical & emotional problem which can lead to many other problems & diseases, it must be addressed very seriously. When I was in grades 1-12, we had physical education an hour a day 5 days a week, played on teams at Intramurals for 1 1/2 - 2 hours after school 3 days a week, then when we arrived home we would play touch football, softball, ride bikes, etc. 'til dark or dinnertime. Plus, we played sports & rode bikes on weekends as well. We got lots of exercise, we enjoyed it, & we felt good, strong & healthy. We know that computers & watching TV are major culprits in overeating & not getting exercise. I'd certainly want my child to try getting more exercise & cutting out junk food before I'd consider the band/surgery. But, if my child was dangerously obese & emotionally miserable, I would give it serious consideration. The goal is to be healthy & happy.

7:46AM PST on Feb 14, 2010

Uhm... no, not everyone who is fat eats wrong.

I grew up in a family who grew their own vegetables. There was no such thing as fast food for me, I was 12 when I got my first McDonalds visits, and that was only as a reward after coming from regular doctor appointments - and then only a cheeseburger and a hamburger. I wasn't allowed a lot of sweets, I didn't drink sweet soda much and us kids played outside a lot. Still I was always overweight.

By now, I'm very overweight to the point of being disabled in daily life. I can hardly tie my shoes, and I hate it. This came about mainly due to drugs the already slightly overweight me got for pain control. Tried 2 different drugs, gained about 40 kilo. Had I known that, I'd never taken those drugs.

Now to get rid of weight, one needs to eat a lot healthier, which is EXPENSIVE. Meat is so cheap and veggies and fruits cost way too much. Not to talk about finding a place that sells fresh food to begin with. I can afford it and still do not lose any weight at all but instead get a gas problem from all the veggies.

BTW I was vegetarian for over 10 years but gained 5 kilo on it. Eating no meat is not the cure for everything.

7:39AM PST on Feb 14, 2010

Uhm... no, not everyone who is fat eats wrong.

I grew up in a family who grew their own vegetables. There was no such thing as fast food for me, I was 12 when I got my first McDonalds visits, and that was only as a reward after coming from regular doctor appointments - and then only a cheeseburger and a hamburger. I wasn't allowed a lot of sweets, I didn't drink sweet soda much and us kids played outside a lot. Still I was always overweight.

By now, I'm very overweight to the point of being disabled in daily life. I can hardly tie my shoes, and I hate it. This came about mainly due to drugs the already slightly overweight me got for pain control. Tried 2 different drugs, gained about 40 kilo. Had I known that, I'd never taken those drugs.

Now to get rid of weight, one needs to eat a lot healthier, which is EXPENSIVE. Meat is so cheap and veggies and fruits cost way too much. Not to talk about finding a place that sells fresh food to begin with. I can afford it and still do not lose any weight at all but instead get a gas problem from all the veggies.

BTW I was vegetarian for over 10 years but gained 5 kilo on it. Eating no meat is not the cure for everything.

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