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Tonsillectomies May Trigger Weight Gain In Kids

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Tonsillectomies, commonly prescribed to relieve sleep apnea in kids, may trigger weight loss gain, according to research conducted at Stanford University. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, surveyed data on 815 children who underwent the surgery.

On average, the kids' weight rose over 6 percent within 18 months of their surgery, while their BMI rose an average of 8 percent.

"You can't just treat the sleep apnea. You have to have nutrition and lifestyle counseling, too," said lead researcher Dr. Eliot Katz, noting that obesity, ironically, is a risk factor for sleep apnea.

However, Dr. Michael Rothschild, clinical professor of otolaryngology and pediatrics, who was not involved with the study, gave a different interpretation to Us News:

"One possible interpretation of this clinical observation has been that some children with significant nighttime breathing issues -- like sleep apnea -- actually are underweight due to the increased work of breathing, or due to obstructive food aversions related to the size of the tonsils."

Tonsils and adenoids are often removed when they become enlarged and block the upper airway, leading to breathing difficulty.

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