Ann Arbor, Mich. — Although most parents think bariatric surgery should not be available to teens to prevent complications associated with childhood obesity, a higher percentage of minority parents see it as an option, Medical News Today reports.
Over the past few decades, children’s risk for obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and liver disease has increased along with the rise in childhood obesity. While some see bariatric surgery as a potential fix, a poll taken by the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital reveals that most parents don’t agree — but that more minority parents say they favor it.
The poll shows that less than one-third of parents think bariatric surgery should be an option for adolescents younger than 18. Black and Hispanic parents were more likely than white parents to consider bariatric surgery for younger adolescents, the survey shows.
Moreover, 13 percent of parents said they feel bariatric surgery should not be an option at any age. That figure includes 20 percent of black parents who responded. Among all groups, the most common viewpoint was that bariatric surgery should be delayed until the adolescent is at least 18.
According to Medical News Today, bariatric surgery carries potential risks that are not fully defined for adolescent patients. In addition, no standard age has been established at which bariatric surgery is presented as an option for severely obese adolescents.