California Teens Getting Unapproved Weight Loss Surgery

Marketing led to the increase in gastric banding among girls who did not need it.

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Gastric banding, which has not been approved for teenagers, is becoming the most popular weight loss surgery for teens in California. It surpassed gastric bypass, which is considered the gold standard for such surgery. A report in the journal Pediatrics states that most of the teens getting the surgery, in which a silicone band is placed around the top of the stomach to restrict food, were white. The number of surgeries increased fivefold during a time when there was intense marketing of the surgery to obese adults. The study suggests that body image issues may be leading to the increase. You think? Operating on non-obese teenagers so that they can be as skinny as possible while weight loss companies and surgeons line their pockets sounds unethical to us. Even though there were no deaths reported in the study, the jury is still out on the long-term effects, with the exception of life expectancy, which is higher. If it works long-term, what does that mean for poor communities whose children have actual weight issues? Do they miss out on an opportunity to live longer? Is that something the medical establishment is even thinking about?

Read more at Reuters.

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