Researchers Recommend Bariatric Surgery for Obese Teens

by MassDevice staff ,  Mass Device | 2012-09-28

Obese teenagers who undergo bariatric weight-loss surgery may see the benefits well into adulthood and waiting until after age 18 may put patients "past the point of no return," researchers say. Obese teenagers who undergo bariatric weight-loss surgery may have a better chance later in life of staving off diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other health issues than if they remain obese into adulthood, according to a new study.

Researchers retrospectively analyzed rates of teenage obesity among nearly 1,500 morbidly obese adults seeking bariatric surgery, looking for relationships between teenage body weight and health conditions during adulthood.

A patient's body weight at age 18 was a key predictor of diseases in adulthood, including renal disease, walking limitations and diabetes.

"When we looked at children in the Princeton School District cohort," researcher Dr. Thomas Inge said in an interview with the news site, "and cut the data for those with a BMI over 40, looking at them over 5 years, they continued to gain weight, and they gained at a rate of 1 BMI point a year thereafter."

"The critical point is that, after 18, you may be past the point of no return," Inge added. "The die is cast, so to speak, for developing diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension."

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