A study has revealed that 40% of Britain’s under-25s who have life-saving surgeries are super-obese. According to a senior bariatric consultant, the level of young people classified as super-obese could ‘threaten to bankrupt the NHS’.
The National Bariatric Surgery Registry released a report that analysed 18,000 weight-loss operations in the UK. It identified the rapid increase in under-25s requiring life-saving surgery for being super-obese.
Richard Welbourn, the chairman of the National Bariatric Surgery Registry described it as a pandemic that posed as a serious threat to the finances of the NHS. He suggested cheaper and more economical procedures also improve the health of obese patients.
Bariatric surgery which includes procedures such as gastric bands and gastric bypasses, was once considered a final resort for patients suffering with life-threatening obesity.
The findings from the 18,000 weight-loss operations between 2010-2013, across 137 UK hospitals were 9,526 gastric bypass procedures, 4,705 gastric band operations and 3,797 sleeve gastrectomy operations.
They found that of the operations studied, 550 were for young people under the age of 25, 62 of whom were under 18. Of the 550 young people, 40 percent were found to be more than twice the weight they should be for their height, with an average body-mass index of 48.8. This constitutes the classification “super-obese.”
The report declared, ‘it is a reflection on society’s failings that these patients had already gained sufficient weight to be broadly comparable to patients who are much older.’
In addition to this, it was also found that one year after surgery, on average, patients had lost 60 percent of their excess weight and suffered fewer weight-related health complications.
Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, agreed that poor lifestyle choices were contributing to the rise of obesity, but defended the operations by stating that the surgery was an effective treatment with positive results.