Bariatric Surgery On The Rise Among Teens

Weight-loss surgery has become a very popular option for obese people needing to lose weight. Now, about 25% of American adolescents are overweight, and a new study found that bariatric surgery is even on the rise among obese teens. "Bariatric surgery is surgery done to physically manipulate your stomach and change the size of it, so that if you eat more than the new size stomach they created quite frankly you lose weight because you vomit," says Doctor Jan McBarron with Georgia Bariatrics.

Doctor McBarron specializes in Medical Bariatrics, which approaches weight issues by tackling the problem with diet, exercise and behavior modifications along with psychological support. She says it works but not overnight, and that's why more young people are opting for surgery. "Yes, you see more obese children along with that you see the well, I want the quick fix, hurry up and do this for me. And the FDA has been clear to say it is not approved for anyone other than adults, yet we are seeing it in children," says McBarron.

The most popular surgery among overweight young people right now is the lap band. That's where a band is placed around the stomach to help you eat less, but McBarron says the long term success of this banding is only 2 1/2 years. "For something as short as that, to do that to somebody who's 16, 17, 18 years of age, what's going to happen to them when they're 25, 30 or 40 if they make it to 40," say McBarron. The California study also reveals white teens underwent 65% of the weight loss surgeries, even though they only make up 28% of all obese teens.