Bullied overweight boy sheds 30kg after surgery

Emirati teen who weighed 140kg undergoes bariatric surgery at University Hospital Sharjah


An Emirati boy bullied for being overweight has shed 30kg after bariatric surgery at University Hospital Sharjah (UHS), the hospital said on Saturday.

Abdul (name changed), 16, aspires to be a pilot after graduation but his dreams were ridiculed because he was overweight, UHS said.

At 140kg, Abdul was a constant victim of bullying, in addition to being prone to diabetes and high blood pressure. The extra pounds on his body made him lethargic and lazy, leading him to give up on social interaction, sports and recreational activities.

He had problems with sleeping and breathing and faced many challenges besides the pressure to lose weight. However, inspired by his cousin’s weight-loss journey, Abdul finally opted for bariatric surgery, “which has changed his life for the best”.

Dr Patrick Noel, Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Consultant, UHS, said: “The connection between obesity and bullying has been prevalent for long. Overweight kids are frequently targeted for abuse at school. There are several reasons why bullies target certain individuals for abuse and overweight kids are a particularly easy mark given that society tends to disapprove of and mock obesity, both actively and discreetly.”

He added: “Obesity comes with several challenges — physical and mental, and Abdul faced a similar situation. But he was determined to treat his condition, and opted for bariatric surgery, which helped him shed 30kg. Post surgery, Abdul continues to work towards further weight reduction following a vigorous lifestyle and diet pattern to maintain an ideal weight.”

Bariatric surgical procedures cause weight loss by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold, causing malabsorption of nutrients, or by a combination of both gastric restriction and malabsorption. By changing the gastrointestinal anatomy, certain bariatric procedures affect the production of intestinal hormones in a way that reduces hunger and appetite and increases feelings of fullness (satiety).

The result is reduction in the desire to eat and in the frequency of eating.

“Bariatric surgery is an option if you have severe obesity and have not been able to lose enough weight to improve your health using other methods. It is not only safe and reliable, but also offers long-term results.”


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