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Record numbers of teenagers having obesity surgery

The number of young people undergoing weight-loss surgery has increased over the last few years, with figures doubling in the last five.

Meanwhile, the number of teenagers below the age of 18 having surgery for band or gastric bypass surgery has trebled, raising fears amongst some experts.

Figures for the year 2012-13 were released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, increasing the concern about rising levels of child obesity. According to guidelines, a child who is 5ft 5in tall would have to weigh 15st before surgery would become an option, while someone standing at 5ft 8in would need to be around 17st before being considered. The first weight-loss surgery to be carried out on a teenager was in 2004.

Experts have expressed concern that rather than eating a healthy diet and doing more physical activity, teenagers are opting for weight-loss surgery as a quick fix. Data indicated that although the overall number of surgical procedures being performed actually fell last year, the number of teenagers having the operations increased.

Although 49 teenagers underwent weight-loss procedures, 16 were performed on teenagers aged 17 or below, while the remainder were carried out on those aged 18 and 19. The latest data revealed that around a third of children are either overweight or obese when they reach the age of 11 years old.

To try and prevent children from becoming overweight, a number of schools in the UK are introducing a healthy tuckshop. Snacks in Lincolnshire schools consist of healthy alternatives to those full of sugar, salt and fat.

Posted by Mark
January 29, 2015

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