Childhood obesity and prevention

It is uncommon for adolescents to have weight loss surgery. Sometimes the benefits of surgery can outweight the risks of developing serious health conditions in later life.

Childhood obesity is rising rapidly. The increasing availability of fast food is contributing to poor diets. Year on year, more money is being poured into advertising fast food to young people, correlating with the rise in childhood obesity. 

The health consequences of childhood obesity are similar to those in adults.

Health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, heart disease and shortened life-expectancy are all related to childhood obesity. Adolescents living with the consequences of childhood obesity face issues of low self-esteem which can lead to difficulties with their educational development. Social media is also playing a role in compounding adolescent mental health issues.  
 
It isn’t common for children and young people to undergo weight loss surgery. However, concerns over long-term health and wellbeing are becoming ever more central to young people in making the decision to have surgery. 

Any young person considering surgery must meet a criteria before being considered eligible. They must have reached physical maturity and be mentally ready for making big lifestyle changes. 

The NHS pathway provides access to a multidisciplinary bariatric team with paediatric expertise. The NHS pathway provides preoperative assessments with a surgeon and patients will need to undergo a ‘risk-benefit’ analysis and an assessment for eating disorders. After having your procedure, NHS aftercare will include postoperative assessments, appointments with a diet consultant and surgical check ups.

 

Please seek and follow the specific guidelines from your bariatric team. Guidelines vary for individual patient needs and surgeries.​