Obesity Rate in Hawaiian Youth Double the Mainland: Vertical Gastrectomy The Answer?

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Article offers evidence that dietary and exercise measures are not enough to change disturbing trend.

Recently published articles in the Star Online Bulletin reveal that more than 20% of Hawaii’s youth are overweight, a number twice as high as the national rate.

Research that included a five-year study of 1,400 students, ages 6 to 17, took into account the body mass index (BMI) of every individual - the standard guideline that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses to determine obesity. A staggering 23.8% of the population was found to be obese.

“Since overweight and obese children are at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other health problems, the results of the five-year study are cause for concern,” noted a May 10, 2001 Hawaii newspaper editorial.

Originally, a solution was proposed in the form of a one-year program to increase physical activity and nutritional awareness in five schools in the Kahuku area – depending on the effectiveness of the campaign it will be extended state wide in one year.

However, leading physicians urge that such a laissez-faire approach to obesity is not the answer. Dr. Paul T. Cirangle, a top authority in laparoscopic surgery at the Surgical Weight Loss Center of Hawaii, stresses that “dietary methods are successful less than five percent of the time - some further medical action may be needed to ensure that these children have a happy, healthy future ahead of them.”

Vertical gastrectomy and sleeve gastrectomy are two procedures Dr. Cirangle recommends for young, obese patients. Because these operations do not impart any mal-absorption, they have no negative effects on an adolescent’s normal, natural development.

One of his patients, a 17 year-old male, has lost 151 pounds since undergoing vertical gastrectomy surgery in January. “The results speak for themselves - young children who are not able to comprehend the seriousness of their condition, and take the necessary, difficult steps to weight loss, can be provided with proven, medical alternatives to remove them from harm’s way,” commented Dr. Cirangle.

While the research is disturbing, the medical insight and bariatric expertise provided by the Surgical Weight Loss Center of Hawaii concerning vertical gastrectomy and sleeve gastrectomy is a resource that must be utilized in this serious battle of the bulge.

Please visit Surgical Weight Loss Center of Hawaii to learn more, or learn about other weight-loss surgeries at Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco (http://www.lapsf.com).

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Craig Hordlow
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