Weight loss surgery is quite effective in severely obese adolescents, it has been found.
The bariatric surgery has been used for several years to treat obesity in adults. The term refers to several different surgical procedures designed to assist weight loss by limiting the amount of food someone eats or the amount they absorb during digestion. Now with adolescents too the surgery can help, scientists say.
Led by Ange Aikenhead of the International Association for the Study of Obesity in London, England, researchers searched various databases for articles examining subjects less than 19 years of age reporting at least one postoperative weight loss measure and at least one year of postoperative follow-up.
The existing evidence suggests that bariatric surgery in older children results in significant weight loss and improvements in comorbidities and quality of life.
"The obesity epidemic now affects children as well as adults, with obesity and its associated morbidities and costs increasing in scale," Aikenhead notes. "Establishing effective methods for treating severe obesity in children will not only reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and related ill health, but inhibit the progression of obese children to obese adults, a crucial step in combating the epidemic."
The findings have been published in the journal Clinical Obesity.