Health: Desperate Measures

As a last resort, more and more obese teens are having their stomachs stapled. What are the risks?

A year ago, Ashlee Townsend, then 14, was running out of options. At 5 ft. 4 in., she weighed 330 lbs. and had developed Type 2 diabetes--a potentially life-threatening illness that usually doesn't occur before middle age. Ashlee had tried all sorts of diets, but none of them seemed to work. By third grade, she had so much difficulty walking that she started missing a lot of school. Then she underwent an operation that reduced her stomach from the size of a football to the size of an egg. In the 12 months since, she has lost 77 lbs.--in addition to...

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