Weight Loss Surgery Resolves Diabetes in Teens

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A new study shows that weight loss surgery can have the same positive effect on diabetes for obese teenagers as it does for adults.

The study, which was led by Dr. Thomas Inge, a pediatric surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, focused on 11 severely obese adolescents with Type 2 diabetes who underwent bariatric surgery. After the surgery, the diabetes disappeared in all but one of the teens.

The 11 patients in the study at Cincinnati Children’s were 14 to 21 years old, and they ranged from 250 to 403 pounds. As part of the study, doctors also monitored a comparison group of 67 obese teens who did not undergo surgery. That group showed no significant change in their treatment for diabetes after a year.

Sadly, Type 2 diabetes was rarely seen in teenagers until recently. But today, about a third of our nation’s kids are overweight or obese, and more and more are being diagnosed with this form of the disease. Since the long-term effects of weight loss surgery on teenagers are still unknown, it’s imperative that parents help their kids make smart nutritional choices and get plenty of exercise, and that healthcare providers educate parents and children about obesity, diabetes,  and related health risks.

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