(WXYZ) — Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate. Nearly 20% of her children aged 2 to 19 are obese, and about 6% are severely obese, according to a 2021 CDC report.
In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics has published updated guidelines for the treatment of childhood obesity.
This is a far-reaching update, but one aspect has generated controversy. Medication and permanent weight loss surgery for middle school children.
Oakland County native Maeve Everett’s weight loss journey has made her a Tik Tok star.
“Today I posted one video on Tik Tok, less than a year later, and it blew up overnight,” Everett said.
25 million likes!
“What inspired you to start this journey?” I asked.
“I think the only motivation is to get healthy and actually feel better about yourself,” she said.
Maeve says she’s struggled with her weight for as long as she can remember. It was during the COVID-19 lockdown that she focused on eating better and moving more.
“What’s important to your health is the food you put into your body. As long as you exercise, you can’t overexert yourself with a bad diet,” she said.
About 15 million American children are obese, according to the CDC. In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics released his first new guidelines in over a decade.
Dr. Zeena Al-Rufaie is a pediatrician and bariatrics specialist at Shelby Pediatrics in Shelby Township. She says her guidelines focus mostly on lifestyle management, but when that doesn’t work, she suggests the use of medication and pediatric weight-loss surgery for children as young as middle school.
She said she commonly had type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease.
“We want to work with the family early on and make a greater effort to prevent something like this from happening,” Al-Rufayeh said.
However, the use of drugs and permanent surgery in children has caused sharp reactions. Some say the guideline is “barking the wrong tree”. Others wrote, “These recommendations set me on fire….I worry that the new focus will lead to eating disorders.”
Dr. Jaime Taylor is the Director of Adolescent Medicine at Beaumont Children’s. She has seen unhealthy “ideal weight” patients and healthy patients with larger bodies. increase.
“Young people, especially those aged 12 to 13, haven’t completed the puberty process,” Taylor said.
She said weight-loss surgery could change the way children get the nutrients they need to grow, and using drugs for weight loss is a long-term commitment.Abraham Brumet, clinical ethicist There are thorny ethical issues that must be sorted by patients, health care providers and parents, according to.
“Ultimately, it is the parents who have the legal authority to authorize this type of invasive procedure,” Brummett said.
All the medical experts featured in this article say that using drugs or surgery for weight loss is only to offset the long-term negative complications of obesity.
They say lifestyle choices like Maeve’s are always the first step in weight management.