18-year-old 'looking forward' to life after weight loss surgery

Credit: Bariatric

It's been described as an epidemic - one of the biggest challenges facing today's society - obesity. Most accept it's a growing problem, but few agree on whose fault it is and what exactly should be done about it. Is industry the issue? Or is it the individual?

Many believe education is the answer - others have called for a sugar tax, a clamp-down on food companies or changes to legislation. And while there is much debate over how to stop people becoming obese - there is similar disagreement on what to do about people who are already there.

For 18-year-old Abbie King from Bournemouth, it was decided weight loss surgery was the best option.

In the first of two special reports, Emma Wilkinson follows the teenager in the build-up to her gastric sleeve operation and speaks to her about how it came about.

Part 1:

Not many people of Abbie's age end up going down the surgery route in the UK. Abbie spent two years speaking to various experts about her eligibility and it was eventually decided that surgery was right for her.

She also fell into a number of NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) recommended categories. Crucially, she had a BMI - a Body Mass Index - of 41. It's not advised that anyone with a BMI of less than 40 has this surgery unless they have a health condition that could be improved.

Doctors stress that bariatric surgery is not an easy fix. Abbie had to commit to long-term follow-up treatment and had to agree to stick to a healthy diet and exercise regime.

Not everyone who has undergone weight loss surgery has deemed it a success and its effectiveness as a tool in the wider effort to tackle the 'obesity crisis' is a divisive issue.

In the second of the two reports, Emma Wilkinson explores how bariatric surgery works, how often it is being offered to obese patients and its potential impact on Abbie's life:

Warning: Contains footage of surgery

Part 2: