Pediatric Bariatric Surgery on the Rise – What You Need to Know
Chubby babies are cute. Who doesn’t love rolls and folds on a baby? But when those rolls and folds follow children as they age, they can become a big problem accompanying long-term health risks.
Obesity in children is a growing problem, with some of the blame being placed on overly processed foods. COVID-19 didn’t help due to a lack of play, organized sports, and an abundance of screen time. And while kids are back to being social and participating in sports, many still spend too much time in front of screens. And the processed food crisis isn’t getting any better. Pediatric and obesity experts agree that parents must help their kids overcome obesity. And the earlier they get involved, the better.
The journey toward overcoming obesity must begin in childhood. With roughly 1 in 5 children and teens being obese, This is because more than half of all obese children go on to become obese adolescents. The cycle continues, with the vast majority becoming obese adults. A whopping 80% of overweight adolescents will carry that weight into adulthood.
Pediatric Bariatric Surgery is on the Rise in America
To combat the issue, many people are leaning on pediatric bariatric surgery. According to the JAMA Pediatrics, the number of metabolic and bariatric surgeries completed among those 10 to 19 years of age has risen since 2016. In fact, during COVID-19, when adult weight-loss surgeries declined, surgeries among kids and adolescents remained consistent.
Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics published new guidelines for treating obesity in children. The changes in recommendations include using behavioral therapy and making lifestyle modifications, and in some cases, surgery and medications. The recommendation for surgery typically is saved for those who are considered severely obese. Talk to your provider to discuss your child’s BMI.
Is Pediatric Bariatric Surgery the Appropriate Treatment for Severe Obesity?
There are benefits to pediatric bariatric surgery. However, it isn’t the appropriate action for everyone. That is why it is critical for parents and caregivers to actively pursue interventions to stop obesity when a child is young. At Rainbow Pediatrics, our Strong Kids Clinic is a perfect program for helping incorporate behavioral and lifestyle modifications with the compassionate and professional support of a pediatrician board-certified in obesity medicine. Dr. Sanniya Nanda is committed to helping children and their parents learn how to make food a strength, not a weakness.
Children can become patients of the Strong Kids Clinic as early as two years of age. The clinic is open in our Hope Mills location every Tuesday. You can learn more about the Strong Kids Clinic here. If you have questions about your child’s health, pediatric bariatric surgery, or anything else, please contact us to schedule an appointment with either their pediatrician or Dr. Nanda. We want to help support you so you can raise happy, healthy children who become happy, healthy adults.