A Teenage Heartthrob: Bariatric Surgery
Teenagers aren’t known for being the healthiest population sample, but for some teenagers, taking a big stand early on in life can lead to major health improvements. This is the case when it comes to teens who struggle with obesity—especially those who have struggled with obesity since they were especially young children.
There are a lot of different factors that influence your likelihood to become obese as you grow up. Genetics certainly play a role, but they don’t tell the entire story. Environmental factors such as your exercise routine, your stress level, and your diet will also influence your likelihood of becoming obese as you grow older. However, the number one predictor of adulthood obesity is childhood obesity. This means that those who are already overweight when they are young are at the highest risk of remaining obese as they grow older. And with this increased risk for obesity comes an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and more.
Historically speaking, weight loss surgery wasn’t recommended for those who are under the age of 18. Lifestyle changes which include dietary strategies and exercise programs are typically the go-to regimen at this age, and then weight loss surgery is recommended later on as a kind of last-attempt at a healthier lifestyle. But the thinking on this has changed, and for good reason. Weight loss surgery is the most successful method at encouraging long-term weight loss, and is proven to improve heart health and reverse the onset of type-2 diabetes. For those who are struggling with chronic obesity, it makes sense to undergo weight loss surgery as early as possible, thereby reducing the potential damage of living with obesity and developing a healthier lifestyle even earlier on in life.
Researchers have found that even individuals in their teenage years can experience long-term benefits from weight loss surgery, specifically finding that teens are more likely to experience substantial improvements to their heart health the earlier they undergo a bariatric procedure.
Of course, bariatric surgery isn’t the only way to take care of your heart. Even after having weight loss surgery you’ll be guided to follow healthy habits like:
- Exercising more often, especially with cardiovascular activity
- Eating a healthier diet that is low in fat and cholesterol
- Drinking plenty of water
- Better managing the stress in your life
If you are obese and have not had success with traditional weight loss methods, then bariatric surgery may be the best solution for you. For more information and to better understand your options, schedule a consultation with your weight loss surgeon.