HealthDay News — Adolescents with severe obesity may not pursue metabolic bariatric surgery (MBS) due to lack of information, cost of care, and social stigma, according to a study published online March 22 in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.
Eric G. Campbell, PhD, from the University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and colleagues conducted 14 qualitative interviews with individuals who received MBS between the ages of 19 and 25 in the last 5 years regarding the barriers to MBS they experienced as an adolescent.
The researchers found that 3 principal groups of barriers included: (1) a lack of information that MBS was an option and the absence of discussions about MBS with medical providers while an adolescent; (2) a lack of access to MBS primarily related to insurance coverage, costs, and family-related issues; and (3) a general stigma around MBS as a treatment for obesity.
“Reduced access to metabolic bariatric surgery for adolescents with severe obesity removes care that could dramatically improve their quality of life and reduce mortality,” Campbell said in a statement. “Previous studies have shown that metabolic bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for adolescents with severe obesity, so health care providers should make sure they are knowledgeable about this care option and recommend it in appropriate cases.”