Data Shows Weight-Loss Surgery Is Getting More Common Among Kids and Teenagers

Data Shows Weight-Loss Surgery Is Getting More Common Among Kids and Teenagers

According to new research, weight loss surgery has become a more popular way to treat obesity, which affects millions of kids and teenagers in the US.

Since 2016, more children and adolescents aged 10 to 19 have undergone metabolic and bariatric surgeries, according to data released in JAMA Pediatrics. In spite of a decline in adult weight loss surgery rates during the first couple of years of the Covid pandemic, the trend persisted.

The number of weight loss surgeries performed on young people increased by 19 percent between 2020 and 2021.

According to the CDC, childhood obesity is a “serious problem” in the United States.

It affects nearly 15 million kids between the ages of 2 and 19, or about 1 in 5 people in that age group.

And severe obesity, which is defined as having a body mass index that is at least 20 percent higher than that of an obese person, is becoming more common.

The stomach and intestines are changed as a result of bariatric and metabolic surgery, which affects how well the body absorbs nutrients.

They may cause a person to eat less or more depending on how hungry or full they feel.

According to the study’s authors, access barriers such as low referral rates from pediatricians and inadequate insurance coverage have resulted in the underutilization of these weight loss surgeries historically.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, however, updated its treatment recommendations for obesity for the first time in 15 years earlier this year.

For the first time ever, surgery and medication are advised for some youngsters under the new guidelines, which also urge prompt use of behavior therapy and a change in lifestyle.

They advise that teenagers who are severely obese should be assessed for surgery.

One co-author of the research Sarah Messiah, said that “This data shows us that adolescents and their families are indeed interested in pursuing surgery as a treatment option if they are given access and a good candidate. Many studies show that cardiometabolic disease risk factors track strongly from childhood into adulthood,” and surgery is a rather good option for teenagers, allowing them to enter adulthood more healthily.

The CDC states that some populations, including young Black people and of Hispanic descent, are more likely to experience childhood obesity.

According to the latest data, weight loss surgery increased more than twice as much as the national average among these communities between 2020 and 2021, rising by 42 percent for Back youth and 53 percent for Hispanic youth.

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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