The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

January 23, 2013

Is weight-loss surgery the right answer for overweight teenagers?

Some researchers say teens suffer lasting damage from being severely obese

Over the last few years, there has been extensive talk about the obesity problem here in the United States, particularly childhood obesity, and there’s also been a good amount of dialogue on what children should do to live more healthfully.

It’s been widely reported that childhood obesity is linked to a host of serious illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, so a large part of the national dialogue has also been about what kids and parents should do to eat better and get more exerceise.

But what should parents do when eating right and exercising aren't  enough, and the obesity problem goes from something that can be self-managed to something that’s out of control?

Although a recent study found a majority of parents oppose bariatric weight-loss surgery -- also called gastric bypass -- for their obese  teens, a group of researchers say the procedure can be a big help to young patients.

Researchers found that weight-loss surgery improved blood flow among 60 percent of teens who underwent the procedure, and also decreased their heart size, which in many cases had become enlarged because of obesity.

These results were determined after a research team from Nationwide Children’s Hospital conducted cardiac MRI tests on teen patients, both before and after they underwent weight loss surgery, a procedure that's not typically done on teens today.

Teen lost 100 pounds

To find out just how weight loss surgery may impact the life of a teenager, we spoke to 21-year old Kelley Allen, from New Concord, Ohio, who had bariatric surgery when she was 17 years of age.

After losing 100 pounds since the surgery, she says the changes in her life have been pretty tremendous.

“Things have changed for me in many ways since surgery, not just physically but mentally," she said in an interview with ConsumerAffairs.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 14, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 14, 2014