Bariatric Surgery in Youth: the Perspective of Dutch Pediatricians, Parents, and Adolescents

K.G.H. van de Pas*, D.S. Bonouvrie, L. Janssen, Y.G.M. Roebroek, B.S.H.J. Zegers, W.K.G. Leclercq, A.C.E. Vreugdenhil, F.M.H. van Dielen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Recent studies have indicated that bariatric surgery is effective for the treatment of youth with severe obesity. The attitudes of pediatricians, parents, and adolescents regarding this topic remain unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the current thoughts and beliefs of Dutch pediatricians, parents, and adolescents regarding bariatric surgery in youth. Methods An online survey containing twenty questions on bariatric surgery in youth was distributed to pediatricians of the Dutch Society of Pediatrics. Parents and adolescents who participated in an interdisciplinary care program for overweight, obesity, and severe obesity filled out an online survey of twelve questions. Results One hundred and twenty-one pediatricians, 49 parents, and 19 adolescents completed the surveys. Seventy-two pediatricians (59.5%) considered bariatric surgery to be an effective treatment for youth with severe obesity when conventional treatment fails, and intend to refer patients for bariatric surgery. The most frequently suggested conditions for bariatric surgery were a minimum age of 16 years (n = 59, 48.7%), a BMI threshold of 40 kg/m(2) (n = 51, 42.2%), and a minimum Tanner stage of IV (n = 59, 48.8%). Thirty parents (61.2%) and fourteen adolescents (73.7%) responded that bariatric surgery should become available for youth with severe obesity. Conclusion Dutch pediatricians, parents, and adolescents increasingly accept bariatric surgery as a treatment modality in youth with severe obesity who do not respond successfully to lifestyle intervention. Whether pediatricians will actually refer youth for bariatric surgery remains to be seen when this treatment option will be implemented in the Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4821-4828
Number of pages8
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number11
Early online date6 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Obesity
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Youth
  • Perspective

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