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Why children should be given diet and exercise tips, NOT surgery

Obesity generally takes years to develop and hence is usually a disease of the middle-aged. Children do, of course, become obese, but any child with severe obesity should first be investigated for an underlying genetic, medical or psychological cause. Sometimes these can be corrected with great efficacy. Failing this the next steps would be to investigate and modify the family environment. Surgical intervention should always be a last resort and should probably be restricted to children with severe genetic/chromosomal disorders that induce uncontrollable hyperphagia.

Professor Andrew M Prentice
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