Surgery option for obese children

Tags: Children , Obesity

Radical measures are needed to stem the rising tide of childhood obesity, leading doctors have warned.

Obese children should be given the option of stomach surgery, Professor David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum (NOF), said.

UK doctors are seeing obese children present with health problems more commonly associated with people in their over-50s, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and joint pains.

However, current commissioning guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence do not offer under-16s the option of surgery.

The NOF estimates that around one in five adults in the UK is obese, with the 2007 Foresight Report predicting that the problem could spread to 60% of the population unless preventative measures were taken.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, Professor Haslam said seeing widespread type II diabetes in children was "frankly shocking".

"In my 25 years as a GP I've seen the problem escalate to dramatic proportions and I'm seeing more and more obese and overweight kids," he added.

"Radical measures are necessary if we are to start saving lives because for some obese children it is a desperate situation."

Copyright Press Association 2013

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