Childhood obesity and surgery
Although controversial, bariatric surgery might help weight loss
- By: Allan M Conway, Robert Jones
Obesity is a global pandemic. In 2005 the World Health Organization estimated that more than 400 million adults were obese.1 In developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia, rates of obesity have more than doubled in the past 25 years.2
Body mass index (BMI), commonly used to classify obesity, is calculated by dividing the patients’ weight in kilograms by the square of their height in metres. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the agency that considers whether the National Health Service should provide treatments, recommends that weight loss (bariatric) surgery should be considered for adults with a BMI greater than 40 or greater than 35 if there is serious associated disease, such as type 2 diabetes.
A recent review in Obesity controversially recommended that children with a BMI greater than 35 and short term morbidity, such as type 2 diabetes, as well as