New Jersey ranks 22nd out of all the US states with 15% of children and adolescents between the ages of 10-17 classified as being obese in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s first “State of Childhood Obesity: Helping All Children Grow Up Healthy” report. The report details the best available data on national and state childhood obesity rates.
“Unaddressed or untreated obesity in childhood often leads to additional health risks as adults,” says New Jersey Bariatric Center Founder Dr. Ajay Goyal. “It’s important to address weight issues early as recent data shows that up to 80% of children affected by obesity will continue to be affected into adulthood.”
Health Risks for Youths
Maintaining a healthy weight during childhood and adolescence is important to growing and becoming a healthy adult. Overweight and obese children can be at risk for numerous conditions including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, bone and joint problems, high cholesterol and more.
Preventing Obesity in Youth
Similar to the health tips from the World Health Organization, New Jersey Bariatric Center recommends that children and adolescents:
- Limit intake of fat and sugars
- Increase consumption of fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains and nuts
- Engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day
Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Study
To help combat youth obesity, the New Jersey Bariatric Center and Overlook Medical Center started an adolescent bariatric surgery study in 2018. With bariatric surgery resolving many co-morbid conditions [i.e. type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension] in adults long-term, the study evaluates improvement in co-morbid conditions, quality of life and lower BMI over a 2-year time span in gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries in 15-18 year olds. The goal is to document the same resolutions of co-morbid conditions in adolescents as with adults, and establish bariatric surgery as a sustainable, long-term solution for adolescents battling obesity too.
Read more about the NJBC/Overlook Medical Center study here.
At NJBC, our team of surgeons, dietitians, and psychologists work with adolescents and adults of all ages to support their weight loss goals. For more information and to schedule a consultation please call 908.481.1270 or visit www.njbariatriccenter.com/contact.