Ahmedabad: Rise in Bariatric Surgeries Among Youths

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Ahmedabad: Rise in Bariatric Surgeries Among Youths

| Updated: March 4, 2024 20:25

An 18-year-old from Ahmedabad, weighed a whopping 137kg and was stuck on the couch due to his obesity. His weight problems also caused him to develop hypertension and diabetes, along with leg blisters and sleep apnoea. He tried various ways to lose weight, but none worked. He finally opted for bariatric surgery at a local hospital.

This case is not an isolated one. According to Dr Chirag Desai, the director of bariatrics at Apollo Hospital, there is a growing number of young adults below 25 years of age who are seeking bariatric surgery for obesity-related issues. He said, “The average age of patients undergoing bariatric surgery is still around 40 years, but we have seen a significant increase in younger patients, who make up 10-15% of surgeries. This is a big jump from a few years ago, when they were in single digits.”

As the world observes World Obesity Day on March 4, with the theme ‘Let’s talk about obesity and…’, Dr Manish Khaitan, the director of bariatric surgeries at KD Hospital, pointed out the high prevalence of obesity among 18 to 25-year-olds, who account for about 20% of total surgeries.

He said, “Some of them have metabolic disorders, but most of them are obese due to their lifestyle choices.” A recent study published in the Lancet journal shows the rising rates of obesity, which have increased from 1.2% to 9.8% for women and from 0.5% to 5.4% for men between 1990 and 2022. Dr Mohit Bhandari, a bariatric surgeon at Sterling Hospital, said, “We are also seeing more cases of teenage and adolescent obesity, which will have consequences when they grow older.” Dr Anish Nagpal, bariatric surgeon with Shalby Hospital, said that surgery becomes necessary when obesity leads to other health problems such as sleep apnoea and joint pain.

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