Body Image (Issues That Concern You) by Heidi Williams

By Heidi Williams

Publication through Williams, Heidi

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Frankel, “For Obese Teens, Bariatric Surgery a Last Resort,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 18, 2005. Copyright © 2005 Pulitzer Publishing Company. Reproduced with permission of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 61 Ashley is one of a growing number of teens turning to weightloss surgery. Despite all the attention paid to adults having the surgery, many doctors believe the future of the operation rests with teens. Teens stand to gain the most from an early intervention against the cruel medical and social realities of severe obesity, some doctors say.

More are expected [in 2005]. In Missouri, two hospitals—St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the University of Missouri Children’s Hospital in Columbia—are working to launch the state’s first programs this year. Greater Benefits, but Greater Risks But if the benefits promise to be greater for young patients, so are the risks. Little is known about how teens fare after weightloss surgery, and nothing is known about how they do decades out. One of the most comprehensive studies looked at just 33 patients.

Asked what was the one thing that would help prevent such conditions, most sufferers said it would be for the media to show more “real” bodies. They ranked this as more important than greater understanding from parents, or even greater medical knowledge. ” lamented one typical respondent. Ringwood says the media and the fashion industry should present a more diverse mix of body types as beautiful and acceptable. Such a change would not be a total solution by any means, but it would help, she argues.

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