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Tonsillectomy and Weight Gain Connected for Children

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Aug 3, 2009
Based on a report published in Pediatrics, children who have a tonsillectomy (with or without their adenoids removed) have a higher risk of being overweight in later years.

The data came from a study of 3,963 children in the Dutch Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) birth cohort study in which height, weight, tonsillectomy status and other factors were assessed through yearly parental questionnaires.

Tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy significantly increased the odds of being overweight and obese at 8 years by 61 percent and 136 percent, respectively. Adenoidectomy alone did not increase the risk of becoming overweight, but it did increase the risk of obesity by 94 percent.

"Longitudinal data on weight and height in the years before and after surgery," the authors note, "suggest that (adeno) tonsillectomy forms a turning point between a period of growth faltering and a period of catch-up growth," which may explain the increased risk of becoming overweight and explain the increased risk of becoming overweight after the operation."

Authors of the study conclude that parents should be armed with information on dietary and lifestyle choices if their children are having a tonsillectomy performed, and also recommend that children's weight and growth be closely monitored following surgery. —Reuters

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