Is Bariatric Surgery for Obese Children and Teenagers Appropriate?

Growing up and being a teen is no easy feat. As many of us remember, being a teenager came with growing pains including SAT’s, college, and the future to just name a few. Though these times can be difficult being overweight is tougher, however being a morbidly obese teenager can be a nightmare. In the past, doctors have been extremely reluctant to perform a bariatric surgery on a child or teenager. This in turn skews the statistics within bariatric surgery for children. Typically, in the 1990’s, around 200 surgeries per year were performed on teenagers and children. Since 2003 this number has sharply risen to average around 700 bariatric surgeries per year. There may be a number of different reasons for this dramatic increase, but most believe that this is due to the astronomical increase in the number of obese children and teenagers.
Low income children and teenagers are at the most risk of becoming obese. According to the United States Federal Government a poverty stricken or low-income family brings in less than $20,000 per year for a family of four and $12,755 for a family of two. 20% of the children and teenagers, born into these low-income families, are obese and throughout the country face the same dilemmas for weight gain: Too many rhinoplasty colorado springs
 sugary sodas, too much television, and a fast-food diet. Economic barriers are mostly to blame for this problem. Low-income families do not have the means for more healthy diets and physical activity opportunities for their children. Children born into more affluent households have more readily available access to grocery stores stocked with fresh vegetables and fruit and are usually more active throughout any given week. The UCLA for Health Policy Research indicates that nearly one in five, or 18%, of low income teens did not get at least 60 minutes of physical activity in a week-the minimum amount of physical activity recommended by the 2005 federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This data further indicates affluent children and teens are more likely to participate in school and organized sports.