Gastric Banding Is a Growing Trend Among California Teens

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If we go by Katy Perry's description, California girls are are "fine, fresh and fierce," but at what cost? A new report shows that an increasing number of teens in the Golden State are opting for getting gastric banding surgery to manage their weight.

Researchers at UCLA found that rate of the obesity surgery in people ages 13-20 increased sevenfold between 2005 and 2007. We've talked about the pros and cons of gastric banding before, but the issue is that the procedure isn't approved for teens by the Food and Drug Administration, so its long-term and side effects are unknown.

The recent study also showed that patients 18 and younger were getting gastric banding instead of bypass, and nearly five percent of those who had gastric bands had to go back to the hospital to remove the band or repair something that went wrong.

Unlike gastric bypass, gastric bands can be adjusted after surgery to alter the how much food the stomach can hold, but should teens be opting to get weight loss surgery at all? Sure, it's a fast way to shed pounds, but like the cast members of Too Fat For 15: Fighting Back, plenty of obese people are choosing to lose weight by exercising and changing their diet.

So far, we haven't seen any other state reports on teens and the gastric banding procedure, so it's possible that these numbers may be reflective of the region and the mindset there, but we want to know what you think. Is gastric banding surgery too extreme or no big deal? %Poll-53142%

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