Although guidelines set in 1991 limit recommendations for bariatric surgery to those most severely affected by obesity, current evidence indicates that young people who are not yet morbidly obese may be especially likely to benefit from weight-loss surgery. Most adolescents who are obese remain obese as adults and have worse medical outcomes than people who became obese as adults. The surgical route is now sometimes offered to adolescents and young adults with obesity-related health problems like Type 2 diabetes that have failed to yield to diet and exercise.
In a study reported by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health that followed 2,221 patients, within three years of bariatric surgery, most experienced less pain and improved ability to walk. But as with any weight-loss program, such benefits as well as lasting weight management depend on whether patients stick to a healthful diet and exercise regimen after the surgery.