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Obese Teens at Risk of Nutritional Deficiencies

A recent study suggests that both obese teenagers who have undergone gastric bypass surgery and those who have not are at risk for nutrient and vitamin deficiencies.

Participants in the study included 79 obese teens who either underwent weight loss surgery or were evaluated for it but did not ultimately get the surgery between 2001 and 2007. The researchers contacted them between 2011 and 2014 to participate in the study.

An average 8 years after surgery, approximately 28% of the participants had lost and kept off a significant amount of weight. Those who did not get the surgery had not lost weight. Regardless of weight loss, both the surgery and non-surgery teens were found to be at risk for nutritional deficiencies – especially iron and vitamin D.

Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital conducted the study. It was published in the January 2014 issue of JAMA Pediatrics.

Obesity has a far ranging negative effect on health. Each year, obesity causes approximately 300,000 premature deaths in the United States. The negative health effects associated with obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea.

Improving eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity. It is recommended that we eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It also recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity every day.

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