Promoting Heart Health for Teens with Weight Loss Surgery*
For teens who are struggling with obesity, bariatric surgery is an idea worth taking to heart. Weight loss surgery is well known as a life-changing procedure that can reverse the onset of obesity related diseases by helping those who have struggled with excess weight for years to finally lose weight and develop a healthier way of living. However, there are some who shy away from the idea of interfering with a teenager’s natural ability of managing their weight by recommending bariatric surgery for those under the age of 18.
This line of thinking has been under fire in recent years, and finally, it is being recommended that teenagers who have struggled with chronic obesity ought to have equal access to weight loss surgery as would adults. The primary reason for this is a strong one: the heart. Plain and simple, obese teenagers are more likely to experience heart disease later on in life, and undergoing weight loss surgery during the earlier years of life can have a huge impact on their long-term heart health.
Of course, when it comes to managing heart disease, weight loss surgery alone isn’t the answer. The bariatric procedure makes it easier to lose weight, but you still have to make the right choices and take healthy steps to overcome the health issues associated with being overweight.
Even for teenagers, this means:
- Creating a regular exercise schedule that includes cardiovascular activity
- Cutting out foods that are particularly bad for cardiovascular health, including salted meats, processed foods, and foods that are high in fat and cholesterol.
- Drinking plenty of water to keep the body hydrated, especially as you increase your physical activity level.
- Doing your best to manage environmental stressors like school and relationship building, which can be especially trying for teens who are trying to lose weight.
Weight loss surgery is never the first line of treatment for losing weight, and so teens who are considering weight loss surgery ought to talk to their weight loss surgeon about the different ways that they can try to first lose weight on their own. But for those who have struggled with obesity most of their life, and for whom diet and exercise alone are not successful, putting off weight loss surgery for a few years may not make much sense.
Talk to your weight loss surgeon to find out more about the potential benefits of weight loss surgery in your life.
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*Weight loss surgery results vary between individuals depending on the initial weight, medical conditions and adherence to prescribed treatments. Speak to Dr. Bass about the results you can expect.