Overweight 2-Year-Old Undergoes Weight-Loss Surgery (PHOTOS)

Heartbreaking 125

2-year-old weight loss surgeryChildhood obesity is a problem, no doubt, but there has got to be a better way than subjecting toddlers to weight loss surgery. Unfortunately, that's happening as young as the age of 2 now, and it's heartbreaking and outrageous that it is.

A boy in Saudi Arabia has become the world's youngest weight loss surgery patient. According to news.com.au, the boy had a body mass index of 44.1 before the surgery, putting him well over the healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9. Doctors say he wasn't suffering from any "hereditary or genetic causes of obesity," but his weight was causing other physical problems such as sleep apnea.

Cleary something needed to be done, and his parents reportedly tried two attempts at dieting. One at 14 months, according to the New York Post, resulted in a 17-pound weight gain, but it's not known whether they stuck to the diet after that. When the boy hit 72 pounds, his family and doctors decided surgery was the answer.

It did work. He was followed for two years after the surgery, and doctors reported that his BMI went down to 24. So that's great, but the extreme method -- which comes with its own risks (both known and unknown) -- is just disturbing.

2-year-old weight loss surgery

He was just 2 --that's before many children learn to talk, or skip, or even use the potty. Did they just give up on teaching him how to eat healthy and exercise? I'm sure they thought they were doing it to help him lead a healthy life, but they simply could not have exhausted all the means do so naturally by the time he was 2.

Sadly, he's not the first toddler to undergo the surgery either. There are reports of a 5-year-old boy from Saudi Arabia and a 4-year-old from India who have also undergone the surgery. I fear we're going to see more and more cases too.

In a report in the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports, doctors wrote:

The results suggest that LSG (laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy) can be a safe and effective alternative for weight control in morbidly obese children even of less than 3 years of age. However more studies and long-term follow up is essential for monitoring the growth and development of children subjected to LSG.

Really? A safe and effective alternative?! Are we really going to allow parents to take the easy way and put their children at risk by putting them under the knife instead of trying to instill healthy habits? We simply can't give up that early.

What do you think of weight loss surgery for toddlers?


Image via news.com.au

boys, in the news, toddler health


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ktobin2 ktobin2

How does a toddler get THAT fat? There has to be something genetically wrong or just VERY bad parenting.

jrphelps jrphelps

That is so sad.  Get that poor child outside to play.  My son is 2 & eats ALL the time.  When he is done with his dinner, he wants ours.  Albeit, we are eating health.  And he runs EVERYWHERE.  I don't get it.  I can't feed my child fast enough & I can see his ribs.  This kids calorie intake must have been enormous.

nonmember avatar Laura K

I'm sorry but what kind of crap parents let their children eat so much and so unhealthy that they become obese in the first place? It makes me sick to see this. I know at a certain age your children have some control of what they eat, but at 2? Seriously that all comes down on the parents, you are the one doing the grocery shopping, making their meals and taking them out to eat fast food. I also know their are some exceptions as well, but 99% of the time there is no excuse!

cmjaz cmjaz

Poor baby

LeeshaE LeeshaE

One must understand that their culture differs greatly from ours and in Saudi Arabia people are unfamiliar with calorie counting.

Ladyw... Ladywithtwo

@LeeshaE, you don't need to count calories for children or adults ever if you use common sense. This is horrible parenting. Culture has nothing to do with it.

Valerie Metzger

There has to be something genetically or hormonally wrong with that child. I'm sorry, but at two years old, there's a lot more going on there than 'bad parenting'. Doctors also wouldn't suggest irreversible weight loss surgery for a two year old unless there was no better option.

hexxuss hexxuss

@LeeshaE - I would tend to agree, since all 3 examples of very young toddlers/children undergoing weight loss surgery are from Soudi Arabia.  My FIRST thought was 'what the hell is wrong with that country!?"  It almost sounds like 'free range' parenting - let the kids do whatever they want, when they should be taking them out to exercise/walk/play and instilling healthy eating habits. 

Jilectan Jilectan

I have three kids and there's no way they'd have ever gotten that fat. Once they're full, they refuse to eat any more. The parents of this kid had to have been doing some serious neglect (parking him in front of a tv and giving him tons of food) or force feeding him from a young age so he got to the point that he wanted to overeat for him to get that big at that young of an age.

Kaymad41 Kaymad41

You can bet the girls don't get that fat.  Boys are treated like little Princes over there.  If this was a hormonal or other medical problem, the surgery would not have worked.  It states numerous times in the article that it could not be determined if the parents enforced the dieting plan.  Of course it was determined because the kid kept gaining weight.

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