Pre-teen lad becomes youngest Brit to have gastric band fitted
A 12-YEAR-OLD boy has become the youngest Brit to get a gastric band fitted as the childhood fat epidemic reaches crisis point. Shocking new figures show the obese youngster was given the controversial weight loss operation normally saved as an absolute last resort for fat people. It was also revealed 62 teens under 18 had the stomach-shrinking op between 2007 and 2010 as more parents look for a quick fix.
It is unknown if the 12-year-old’s procedure was funded privately or by the taxpayer. But health experts said childhood obesity is quickly spiralling out of control and blamed lazy parents for their fat children. It comes as Channel 4 documentary ‘Junk Food kids: Who’s To Blame’, to be shown this week, exposes the horrific problems with obesity in kids. One scene will show a four-year-old called Talulah unable to fit into her school uniform while her mum says it was “easy” to let her daughter eat junk food and takeaways.
A dentist will also been shown yanking out a child’s rotten teeth, which have been destroyed by sugary food. Consultant Fiona Campbell from Leeds Children Hospital, who appears on the documentary, said parents must be held responsible. She said: “I think the parents have to be blamed for overweight children, but they have to be helped. “Although this is difficult for them – and we can understand chastising children and stopping them doing what they want is difficult – I’m afraid that’s their responsibility.”
Gastric band operations see a device placed around the top part of the stomach to help a patient feel less hungry. The op costs about £7,000 and only someone with a body mass index of more than 40 can be considered. The alarming practice of giving kids these procedures could get worse after recent figures showed nearly a third of British children were overweight or obese. Paediatric consultant Ashish Desai said getting a child a gastric band would not always fix the problem. She said: “Some parents, when they come to us, have the idea that if their child has the surgery it will act like a magic wand.”