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Preventing diabetes in adolescents through bariatric surgery: a clinical trial

May 15, 2023

Aotearoa Clinical Trial’s (ACTT) Investigator Initiated trial for adolescent weight loss surgery offers young adults, aged between 15 and 18 and with a BMI over 35 the opportunity for weight loss and to improve diabetes, through bariatric surgery.

Twenty participants initially undergo a 12-week weight loss programme consisting of a low calorie diet and exercise. Upon completion of this programme, those who qualify will be offered surgery or to continue with lifestyle interventions.

The aim of this study is to prevent or improve diabetes as well as other related commodities in overweight adolescents. The study allows adolescents the opportunity to take control of their weight with support and care from health professionals.

“Diabetes and obesity are community-wide problems and there’s no point waiting 10 years for when someone has complications” – ACTT Principal Investigator, Dr John Baker.

"We've seen, over the last 10 years, how effective Bariatric Surgery is in treating diabetes in adults. And there's no doubt bariatric surgery is a very effective treatment for adults" comments surgeon Dr Richard Babor, specialist in bariatric surgery at Te Whatu Ora – Counties Manukau. Dr Babor believes bariatric surgery for adolescents is a great away to help turn lives around.

Mele Raass is one of the twenty participants in the study, who has struggled with losing weight in the past. Her condition of polycystic ovary syndrome makes it difficult to do so.

Mele has found hope through her weight-loss journey in the study.


ACTT would like to acknowledge sponsorsFreemasons Foundation Potter Trust & Perpetual Guardian Trust


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