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Extreme Weight Loss for Obese Teens

Extreme Weight Loss for Obese Teens

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Childhood obesity is a rapidly increasing problem in the United States. Between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are obese. Unfortunately, overweight children are much more likely to become overweight adults unless they adopt and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Although obesity is an easily recognized medical condition, it is very difficult to treat. A child is considered obese when their weight is at least 10 percent higher than what is recommended for their height and body type. Obesity typically begins around 5 and 6 years old and continues during adolescence and into adulthood unless treated.

As parents learn more about the direct and indirect effects of obesity on teens, and as they also become increasingly frustrated in their attempts to control their children's weight, they seek professional treatment for weight loss. The two main treatments for obese teens seeking extreme weight loss are weight loss camps or bariatric surgery ("stomach stapling").

Weight Loss Camps for Teens

The medical community generally prefers to send a teen to a camp to try and change behavior over an extended period of time since the epidemic of obesity is behavioral. These camps typically run for four to eight weeks and are effective by changing diet, portion sizes, and increasing physical activity. Summer weight loss camps have proven effective in creating long-term behavioral changes in teens and resulting in extreme weight loss.

Bariatric Surgery

If weight loss camps aren't effective, bariatric surgery is considered an option for teens that have health problems related to their weight. Weight loss surgery procedures such as LAP-BAND® and gastric bypass surgery can often result in dramatic weight loss if an appropriate after care regimen is pursued.

The most common type of bariatric surgery is gastric bypass, where a small portion of the stomach is sectioned off, bypassing the first part of the small intestine. Another option is gastric banding where a band-like device is put around the stomach to divide it into two smaller compartments.

Seek Professional Guidance

If you are an obese teen, consult your primary care physician to discuss the best possible weight loss solutions for you.

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