Obesity is a growing problem in the UK and it is affecting many of us from a young age. It is estimated that 36% of 11-15 year olds in England are overweight or obese.
Why is Teenage Obesity a Problem?
Obesity is a serious problem because it increases the risk of many health problems, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Being overweight can also interfere with everyday activities and cause embarrassment or even depression.
Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise can help. However, it isn’t always easy to lose weight, especially when you feel upset and self-conscious about it. Dieting alone doesn’t always work, but are there other options for teenagers who need to lose weight?
Are Teenagers Eligible for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Teenagers may be eligible for weight loss surgery in the UK, as long as they meet the same requirements as adults. Generally, in order to have gastric sleeve surgery you should:
- Have a BMI over 40
- Or a BMI over 35 and an obesity-linked condition like type 2 diabetes
- Be fit enough to have the operation
- Have tried to lose weight through diet and exercise alone
- Be committed to making permanent changes to your lifestyle
- Have a good understanding of the risks and benefits
The procedure won’t work instantly or easily. You will still need to diet and exercise, but the effects of the surgery should make this easier.
Why Wait to Have Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
If you are a teen who meets the eligibility criteria for weight loss surgery, then you might be keen to get it right now. However, it’s important to be patient when it comes to weight loss. You need to discuss the procedure in detail with an experienced surgeon. It is also important to do what you can with diet and exercise first as it will reduce the risk of complications during surgery. You need to be prepared to make permanent changes to your lifestyle in order to reach and maintain a healthy weight after the procedure. You are at the start of a long journey, so there is no need to rush.