Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program Patient Resources

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Contact the Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program

  • 1-617-355-2458

How do you determine obesity?

Obesity is defined as a generalized accumulation of body fat. It is measured by the body mass index (BMI), which is determined by a person's height and weight.

  • A person with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • A person with a BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese.
  • A person with a BMI of 40 or greater is considered extremely or morbidly obese.

It is important to remember that BMI is just one number among a host of information that a care and support team will solicit from a child and their family. Diet, activity levels, environment, genetics and other factors are all relevant in making assessments and treatment plans.

Adolescent obesity: too prevalent and too dangerous

It is estimated that from 15-30% of adolescents are obese in the U.S. It also estimated that 50-77% of children and adolescents who are obese will carry their obesity into adulthood. Obesity can cause devastating physical and psychological effects and increase the risk of developing serious and often life-threatening conditions. These include:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • sleep apnea
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol/triglycerides
  • high insulin levels (pre-diabetic)
  • asthma
  • fatty liver disease
  • joint and back pain
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn)
  • irregular/absent menstrual cycles
  • urinary incontinence
  • sleep disorders
  • poor quality of life
  • inability to participate in daily activities

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944