Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

November 9, 2013

Obesity surgery safe for teens?

Research says it is, and more kids may need it

CHICAGO — U.S. teens seeking weight-loss surgery have a startling number of health problems that used to be seen only in adults, according to a major government-funded study.

Half the teens had at least four major illnesses linked with their excess weight. Three out of four had cholesterol problems; almost half had high blood pressure or joint pain; and many had diseased livers or kidneys.

These kids weighed three times more than what is considered healthy, they weren’t just teens “who want to fit into that cheerleading outfit better,” said Dr. Thomas Inge, the study’s lead researcher and a surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The study offers reassuring evidence that obesity surgery is generally safe for teens, echoing previous short-term research. While it is a drastic, last-ditch option, major complications including accidental injury to internal organs occurred in just 8 percent of teens. Less serious complications including bleeding and dehydration affected 15 percent of kids during the first month after surgery.

The study involved 242 teens who had surgery at five U.S. centers from 2007 through 2011. Results for the first month after surgery were released online Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. The National Institutes of Health paid for the study.

In a recent scientific statement, the American Heart Association said obesity surgery may be the most effective treatment for what it called “severe obesity” in teens, a condition it said affects about 5 percent of U.S. children and is increasing nationwide. The group’s threshold for severe obesity is a body mass index of at least 35; the average BMI in the study was 51.

Because lifestyle changes and medication rarely work for such obese teens, the statement says obesity surgery should be considered for those with related health problems who are psychologically mature enough to handle it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • WSJ column misses mark with parenting advice The Wall Street Journal says there's no difference between a child whose primary interest is reading and a child who uses social media obsessively. In WSJ's March 22-23 "Mind and Matter" column, Alison Gopnik recounts, in fable form, her childhood ob

    April 24, 2014

  • Pets-Prosthetic-9 [Duplicate] Pets and prosthetics LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 9-month-old boxer pup named Duncan barreled down a beach in Oregon, running full tilt on soft sand into YouTube history and showing more than 4 million viewers that he can revel in a good romp despite lacking back legs. "It's a h

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Food Minted Chicken Wraps [Duplicate] Minted chicken wraps Fresh mint so rarely gets its due in America. We gladly pair it with chocolate and fruit, but it almost never makes appearances in savory dishes. But the rest of the world knows better, adding it with abandon to all manner of savory dairy, vegetable

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amish Cook's kids clean on spring break It's already Thursday, the deadline for me to get this column out in the mail. This week our five children are home on spring break. The boys have been cleaning out the barn and hauling manure. The girls have been helping with the spring cleaning a

    April 21, 2014

  • Wilson 01 Meant to be Lowell Wilson was mesmerized by Becky Alexander’s spunky personality from the moment she asked him to pay club dues. Becky, 17, was the treasurer of Wabash Rural Youth in 1958, and it was 22-year-old Lowell’s first meeting. He was a new agriculture t

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter assures us God is with us We sometimes ask, “Where is God at?” The Answer: God is here and there, inside and outside. God was before the beginning, is here right now and is already in the future. God knows everything and everyone. God can do everything or God can choose to d

    April 19, 2014

  • Dress Coded-6 [Duplicate] Dress coded EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — They're called leggings — popular fashion items that are tight-fitting pants to some, and glorified tights to others. Younger girls often wear them as pants with little fuss. But as those same girls approach middle school, leggi

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Homes-White Paint-6 [Duplicate] Different shades of white NEW YORK (AP) — So you want to paint a room white. Sounds easy, until you go to the hardware store to buy paint and discover there are dozens of whites to choose from. Many have familiar yet poetic names that conjure up ever-so-slightly different hue

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mom worries about son who set fire to mouse Q: My 18-year-old son and a slightly younger friend recently found some mice and decided to dispose of them. They drowned one and set the other one on fire. When I confronted my son for torturing animals, his response was "They're just mice."

    April 17, 2014

  • Dress Coded [Duplicate] Dress codes: Where should schools set limits? EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — They're called leggings — popular fashion items that are tight-fitting pants to some, and glorified tights to others. Younger girls often wear them as pants with little fuss. But as those same girls approach middle school, legg

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller