Gastric band for obese teens

There is a lot to be said about the gastric band as a stomach reduction procedure in children and teenagers. There are doctors who believe that such interventions should not be performed on children who are not yet fully grown.

Gastric band

The gastric band has been around since 1982. It is a small ring of silicone that is placed around the upper part of the stomach through keyhole surgery. This divides the stomach in two. The small upper part of the stomach can then only hold a small amount of food. The rest of the stomach is located on the lower side of the band.
The gastric band therefore ensures that you can eat much less. If you, as a patient, do cross the line, you will definitely have problems: you cannot keep the food down and you have to vomit. The gastric band therefore forces you to eat in moderation and that is of course also the purpose of the procedure. This is the only way to get rid of excess weight. Worldwide, 250,000 gastric bands have already been placed.

Morbid Obesity

There is a lot to say about stomach reduction procedures in children and teenagers. There are doctors who believe that such interventions should not be performed on children who are not yet fully grown. But we are talking about children who are extremely overweight. Children with morbid obesity, also called adiposity, have a weight that is more than one hundred percent above the ideal weight. Or in other words, a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40.
These are children for whom the most strict diets have already been tried, but those who suffer from morbid obesity actually have no choice but to undergo surgery to lose the kilos permanently. touch.

The Body Mass Index (BMI)

The body mass index is a value to indicate a person’s fat mass and is obtained by dividing weight by height squared. For example: weight 71 kg, height 1.71 meters: BMI = 71/2.92 = 24.3. The table below indicates how the different values should be interpreted.

BMI value

Meaning

18.5 or less

underweight

18.5 – 25

normal weight

25 – 30

overweight

30 – 40

seriously overweight (obesity)

40 or more

very seriously overweight (morbid obesity)

 

Is gastric reduction taboo in young people?

It is striking that many media, dietitians and other experts who deal with obese children only view the problem in one way. In their eyes, the knife is taboo anyway. But anyone who does not want to have an operation can see with their own eyes how disastrous the consequences can be. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer due to obesity are only one side of the equation. But one should also consider the enormous social isolation in which such a child finds itself due to the lack of friends.

Risks of gastric reduction via gastric band

  • The procedure is indeed not without danger; People can even die from gastric bypass surgery. But there is a certain risk with almost all operations and fortunately the risks we are talking about are negligible.
  • only eat a quarter of the normal amounts after a stomach reduction . It will therefore be difficult for growing teenagers to get all the good nutrients. Good guidance about their eating habits is therefore very important.
  • There is also no hard evidence that a gastric band functions without problems for a lifetime. This facility has not been on the market for too long.

But if one weighs the pros and cons of surgery against the enormous problems and sadness that these obese teenagers will have to deal with later in life, the choice is often quickly made. After all, the diet of very fat people is already so severely disrupted that traditional medicinal treatments no longer stand a chance. And remember that the life expectancy of someone who is extremely fat is no less than twelve years shorter than that of a slim person.

Dietary pattern in today’s adolescent

The diet of many young people is seriously disrupted by their way of life. Due to a lack of exercise, but especially due to the way they eat and drink. Far too many teenagers exercise too little and eat unwisely. Although there is such a thing as a (hereditary or otherwise) predisposition to gain weight than others, for the most part we disrupt our nutritional system ourselves through an unhealthy diet. Fast food, high-calorie food, soft drinks, everything should be tasty, sweet and fatty. This has undeniably had an influence on the body weight of young people in recent years (and not just young people, by the way).
A simple calculation example to illustrate: one large glass of cola contains about 150 calories. If you drink that every day all year round on top of the roughly 2,000 calories you need as an adult, you will gain roughly five kilos per year. But when you see that some children drink not one, but three to four glasses of cola or soda per day, you understand how quickly they gain weight. Add to this the fact that these same children often eat everything loose, with lots of sweets, snacks and other unhealthy things, then we do not have to be surprised about children of ten or twelve years old who already weigh well over a hundred kilos.
Also realize that those fat children are moving less and less; If they do not change their eating behavior, they will continue to gain weight. At a certain point, the diet is, as mentioned, so disrupted that you can no longer do anything about it with the most fanatical diets.

Bleak future prospects

Our Western consumer society should make every effort to prevent obesity. After all, the future does not look bright if one considers that contemporary food trends generally come to us from America. In some American states, thirty percent of the entire population is already obese. The socially weaker backgrounds are particularly at risk. Healthy food is often expensive, a snack is cheap. It is precisely these groups that we should reach with information.
By the way, in a recent European study, researchers made a remarkable discovery: obesity has a protective effect in seriously ill patients and, strangely enough, leads to a lower risk of death.

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