June 15, 2007 at 12:16 pm
Today I read that kids recover from obesity surgery better than adults. The study was based on 309 obese patients ages 12 to 18, which makes me wonder, who was the 12-year-old? I think I’d rather have my tonsils removed at that age than part of my stomach. The poor kid must have been really overweight for a doctor to authorize that.
While I support everyone’s right to make their own decisions about their lives, I do find it rather uncomfortable that people that young are having permanent, life-changing surgery. People do a lot of things in their youth they later regret. You can take out the nose ring and the hole will close up. If you save up enough money you can have the tattoo of your ex-boyfriend’s name removed from your ass. You can’t get your stomach back.
But I also understand that being that fat that young has got to be extremely painful and isolating. The fat kids usually don’t get to buy the cute clothes or get the hot dates. I can’t blame morbidly obese teens for wanting to be thinner. A good majority of the population goes through their whole lives wanting to be thinner. But I’ve always seen weight-loss surgery as the absolute last resort, the thing you do when everything else fails. Can you really have tried everything by age 18? I wasn’t ready to lose weight until my mid-twenties. Sometimes it takes time for you to grow into yourself and learn what it takes to lose weight healthily. But then again, if you do end up getting the surgery, it seems better to do it while you’re younger and you have better chances of survival. But how do you know that’s what you’ll have to do until you’ve exhausted all your resources?
I don’t know. Personally I suspect that in another hundred years obesity will be treated with pills. You’ll be able to take medication that speeds up your metabolism or that prevents your body from absorbing certain nutrients. Weight-loss surgery is probably only a blip, like 8-track players, but it’s the only thing we’ve got right now for people who aren’t successful dieting and exercising.