According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the past 30 years, the rates of obesity have more than doubled in smaller children and quadrupled in adolescents. From 1980 until 2012, the percentage of obese adolescents in the United States skyrocketed from 5 percent to almost 21 percent. Along with the increase in Body Mass Index comes the potential for both short-term and long-term health conditions that affect the quality of life and life expectancy.
The teenage years are typically a time of learning and discovery, with health conditions far down the list of daily concerns. However, obesity has shifted the focus for many adolescents. Instead of playing sports, learning to drive or attending college, adolescents are focused on trying to lose the excess weight and avoid serious illnesses. Bariatric surgery for adolescents is a potential option to restore the balance, moving forward.