A report on the Prevalence of Childhood Obesity in the United States by the Center for Disease Control shows a grim picture of the state of adolescent health in the country.
According to findings, obesity affects around 12.7 million children and adolescents, aged 2-19. This number accounts for 17% of the total population, and though the number may not seem troubling right now, the problem of obesity fares far worse for our future generation’s physical and mental health.
The Effects of Obesity on Teens
Aside from the many health risks that accompany obesity, teens are subjected to various social and mental problems as well.
Teens face many obesity-related mental and social challenges, which include:
- Dating problems
- Discrimination due to obesity
- Social teasing
- Unhealthy and risky behaviors (alcohol use, tobacco use, harmful dietary practices, physical inactivity)
As time goes on, these mental and social issues transfer into the teen’s adult life, and cause long-term effects that hinder them from reaching their full potential, thereby limiting their chances of success in later life.
Common Health Problems
Teen obesity comes with a similar set of health problems as obesity in adults. Morbidly obese teenagers suffer from at least one obesity-related health issue, the risk of which increases as time goes on.
Their condition may be associated with:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Orthopedic injuries such as spinal problems, acute fractures and joint pressure
- Fatty liver disease
- Sleep apnea
- Diabetes (Type-2, which leads to other severe heart-related factors)
- PCOS, a common health problem for females (Polycystic ovarian syndrome)
- Skin infections (fungal infections)
- Skin thickening and darkening (acanthosis nigricans)
- Dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids such as triglycerides, cholesterol and fat phospholipids)
Common Weight-Loss Procedures
According to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, numerous procedures in bariatric surgery have proved to be effective for teens seeking a solution to aid their weight loss journey.
The most common procedures that have been deemed the most effective are:
- Gastric bypass
- Laparoscopic gastric banding
- Vertical sleeve
- Duodenal switch
Nevertheless, before a patient chooses a procedure for their weight loss, several factors must be taken into account. Keep in mind that since the patient is an adolescent, there is concern about protein malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.
What You Should Know
If a teenager requires a procedure for their weight loss, they must have consent from a parent or guardian before they consider their option.
They must also have a BMI over 35 and should have reached a physical or skeletal maturity so there is less risk of health deterioration. They must also have participated in a clinically supervised program for weight loss. They must also be psychologically evaluated, so that the medical institution has complete confirmation that their patient understands the procedure and risks (if there are any) involved.
For all these details, it is important that patients acquire help from professionals through programs such as International Patient Facilitators so they have comprehensive support. The program offers the best clinical teams in medical destinations such as Mexico so their patients have an affordable chance at an effective weight loss procedure.
By following the right instructions, teenagers can take the necessary steps to support their weight loss so they can benefit from its long-term effects.