1. Perry, William MA, RN

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The Internet has brought the spirit of global communication and collaboration to nurses and other healthcare professionals in ways never before thought possible. These resources are offered to expand your opportunities for discussion, reference, education and research.


There were a couple of news stories early in 2005 that described proposals to include body mass index (BMI) on a child's report card. News stories of obesity in young people and bariatric surgery are common. The National Guideline Clearinghouse has a guideline entitled "Bariatric surgery for severely overweight adolescents: concerns and recommendations." (


Pretty scary stuff for the average parent and, I suspect, the average kid as well. Instead of looking at nutrition and diet-related Web sites, I went looking for sites dealing with BMI and the surgical approach to obesity. Here are a few sites that provide some information on the subject.


The American Society for Bariatric Surgery is a professional organization of surgeons who treat obesity. The Web site ( lists members, has a physician search utility, and offers links to a variety of national organization obesity-related resources. While consumers may visit this site to find a surgeon, the articles are somewhat technically oriented and there is no information specifically directed at children or adolescents.


On the Centers for Disease Control Web site there is a section devoted to Body Mass Index ( A section dealing with children and teens describes how BMI must be evaluated in light of gender-specific growth charts. While a BMI of 25 in an adult is at the low end of the overweight category, it is at the 95th percentile for 13-year-old boys. There are free training modules available for download on using BMI for age-growth charts.


Although not specifically child-related, "Gastrointestinal Surgery for Severe Obesity" is a brief and clearly written guide to surgical weight loss procedures. It is available at "The Weight-control Information Network" pages of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Web site This site has several free consumer publications available to download on obesity and weight loss.


The American Academy of Pediatrics has lists of publications and Web sites to provide information and resources for parents and children dealing with obesity ( I could not find any pages specifically about bariatric surgery.


It is a significant problem for the youth of the 21st century. While some may accuse "Web surfing" instead of exercise as being part of the problem, if we get kids and parents pointed to some quality information it just might be part of a solution.