The following is from The CrossFit Journal.
If you could keep your child off the operating table, wouldn’t you?
A Feb. 24 New York Times article reported some doctors believe bariatric surgery is the only hope for certain obese teenagers, but University of Minnesota physiologist Aaron Kelly perhaps unintentionally pointed out the concerning cart-before-horse situation early in the article.
“We’re at a point in this field where surgery is the only thing that works for these kids but we don’t know the long term outcomes,” Kelly is quoted as saying.
If long-term outcomes are unknown, is it really wise to hack into a teen’s abdomen and likely saddle him or her with another 60 years of complications? The idea seems like a perversion of the do-no-harm oath doctors take. It feels like we’re gambling with kids’ lives.
Doctors, of course, are trying to help teens whose weight puts them at risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and the many ravages of obesity. But are they really helping?
The Times noted two studies that reported “most of the participants in both studies lost at least a third of their weight and kept it off for at least five years.” That positive is offset by this rather damning stat, also reported by the Times: “Despite their weight loss, 63 percent of the teenagers were still severely obese after the surgery—only one reached a normal weight—and nearly half had nutritional abnormalities.”
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