Even with the dramatic increase in the number of adolescents seeking bariatric surgery, only a small percentage of teens meet criteria for surgery. These experts suggest a careful and strict selection of adolescents who might be considered for bariatric surgery. They suggest a very careful and thorough examination of this population, always mindful of coercion.
Among the overall population, being overweight by body mass index is associated with a greater risk for developing diabetes or hypertension. Being obese significantly increases a child’s risk of developing diabetes. The risk of developing hypertension is more significant among older teenagers.
Other important factors are vehicle safety, motor vehicle safety and the prevention of alcohol and drug use while driving. The last two are a particularly important consideration for teens. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes that the risk of motor vehicle accidents increases from 8.8% to 26.3% following the first drink of alcohol. While drinking and driving is a particularly important risk factor for teens, the risk of alcohol involvement increases significantly as teens get older. Between ages 15 and 20, the likelihood of one or more lifetime drunken driving episodes increases from 0.8% to 16% (Sari, et al., 2008). Alcohol use is also a factor in 4 out of 5 teen traffic accidents. In one study, 8% of teens who had been in a traffic accident had used alcohol or drugs, compared to 4% of teens who were involved in an accident that occurred when they were not drinking and 5% of teen drivers who had not been drinking (Sari & Rowles, 2009).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established guidelines on the definition of overweight and obesity among adults. These same guidelines have now been established for adolescents. The CDC has proposed a body mass index (BMI) between the ages of 2 and 19 as follows:
Back to that physical appearance. Teens who are sure of their weight gain and what they have done to themselves are often teased by their peers. This can make them feel worthless and unhappy. An obese teen may be teased for being fat and lazy. He may also be teased for being poor and the result may be a dropout from high school or a decline in grades (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2014). 827ec27edc