In another attempt to expand the fatty pool for its popular Lap-Band devices, Allergan Inc. is now targeting a younger set.
The Irvine-based pharmaceutical company has asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow the weight-loss surgery for those as young as 14, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Currently, doctors can perform the controversial surgery on minors with parental consent, but an FDA approval would allow the company to market the product specifically for teens. We can see the billboards now: “OMG, I just lost, like, 87 pounds!”
Health officials are worried this would send a message that the Lap-Band is a safe and easy way to lose weight, when in fact, there are risks involved. In the last two years, four Southern California adults died within days of undergoing the surgery.
In February, the FDA approved the company's request to reduce the weight requirements for adults interested in the surgery.
As for teens, the Lap-Band is not for girls who want to squeeze into their prom dress, Allergan assures. It is for patients who are 100 or more pounds overweight, and have significant health problems because of it.
For everyone else, there's that other crazy weight loss method . . . think it's called diet and exercise.