Monday, February 25, 2008

WLS and Kids

Even before all the difficulties I have been experiencing as of late, I have always disagreed with the idea of kids having WLS. I have even gone back to some of my earlier posts on the support forums to make sure my own words didn't come back to haunt me. Even when I was a staunch supporter of WLS, I was looking at the possible long term effects it may have if used on kids.

I stumbled on a blog the other day that really went into detail about this issue, She Dances On The Sand. In preparation for doing the posts she asked for comments from the readers.

She Dances On The Sand: THIS IS IMPORTANT!

There are very, very few, if any, situations where a child needs to undergo bariatric surgery to save his or her life--where it is such an emergency that they cannot wait until they are old enough to make a proper decision and give informed consent.

Is there anyone out there who cares about this issue? Or am I lone voice on this matter? I want comments, lots and lots of them, telling me how you feel about this!

Although most of the people I know in the WLS community are against this surgery for kids, I was astounded at how these many posters felt. It was a real awakening for me. Here are just a few of the comments, be sure and head over to the post for the rest:

Kristin said...

I think that performing such surgeries on children is horrifying, particularly as it is mostly for cosmetic reasons. It reinforces the idea to children that their worth is dictated by their physical attractiveness. Moreover, it prohibits them from ever having a normal relationship with food and eating.

Andee said...

YES, YES, YES. I completely agree with you. This is a barbaric thing to do to a kid. Even if s/he wants the surgery. Maybe especially if s/he wants the surgery.

*I* probably would have wanted the surgery from the time I was 12 or 13 or 14 -- it will get me to stop eating so much! I'll be skinny! I'll be pretty! I'll have a boyfriend! A BOYFRIEND WHO LOVES ME!!! Where do I sign up? And I wasn't even "obese" then, just chubbier than what was considered "pretty," and I wanted "love" SO BAD, and I was utterly convinced that it was my fat ass standing in the way (noooo, it had nothing to do with the fact that no boy I had ever met then was capable of loving me the way I dreamed of, fat or thin).

It's likely that my parents would have said no, though -- not because they were so fat-accepting but because they would have been squicked by the nutritional-deficiency thing. Which is why ALL parents should say no to this for their kids. Some things just ain't worth it, even if it will get your kid invited to prom.

Andee (Meowser)

Rebecca said...

You're not alone. The idea of depriving CHILDREN of the calories and nutrients they need to GROW and DEVELOP... it's beyond horrifying. My dad wouldn't even let us diet until we were adults, because having our bodies and brains develop healthily and properly was more important than conforming to the societal ideal. I wish more parents thought that way.

Although, I don't think you can blame the parents in all cases. I've read about parents who were told by their doctors: "Your child will not live to see their 18th birthday unless they lose weight". If you're told that as a parent, and nothing else you've done to get them to lose weight has worked... well. That's why it's so important to get the message out there that fat does not equal death.

I bolded that last sentence on purpose to make the point. Obese does not equal unhealthy any more than thin equals healthy. Here are a couple posts that will enlighten you on that aspect.

Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy? « Shapely Prose
Big Fat Facts: The Truth About Fat, Obesity, Gastric Bypass, and Weight Loss

Getting back to the whole issue of this post, Kids having WLS. I could go on and on about this. But these posts do it for me. Read and learn.

She Dances On The Sand: Kids and WLS, Part One: Introduction, and Physical health concerns

She Dances On The Sand: Kids & WLS, Part Two: Psychological considerations

She Dances On The Sand: Kids & WLS, Part Three: Informed Consent


Jenny said...

The site is coming up really fast. Thanks for fixing whatever you fixed!

And keep up fighting the good fight!