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Teen's Final Solution for Weight Loss -- Surgery

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Earlier this week, we introduced you to 13-year-old Joey and his family who travelled to Tijuana, Mexico to have Gastric Lap Band Surgery. Today, meet Hollie Johnson, 17, who also went under the knife to lose weight.

For Hollie, weight was always an issue. She tried diet after diet, but nothing worked. Like most teenagers, Hollie just wanted to be thin. After attending a seminar about gastric banding, she decided this was something she had to do.

Dr. Santiago Horgan, director of the UCSD Center for the Treatment of Obesity, performed the surgery on Hollie and told us that his patients were mostly 100 lbs overweight, and for most of them, diet and exercise is not an option. "When a kid is 100 lbs overweight, they are depressed and lose self-esteem. They have no incentive to start a diet." Our expert, Dr. Cara Natterson weighed in, "Obesity is clearly related to issues of self-esteem for most children and teenagers who live with it. The experiences of these kids vary, but most -- if not all -- would do anything they could to overcome the issue."

Since her surgery in October of 2007, Hollie, who is 5'3" and at her heaviest weighed 246 lbs, has lost 101 lbs. While Hollie feels so lucky to have had this opportunity to be a part of the trial, unlike the Fishells, Hollie would never have done it if it meant going down to Mexico. "I wouldn't even have my teeth cleaned in Mexico."

Dr. Cara Natterson believes that surgery, especially for children, should always be the last option and says that there are ways for parents to encourage their child to lose weight. "Everyone in the family can be in on it together. This is about healthy living, not a punishment for one person. So get rid of the junk food and sodas, keep portion sizes small, and emphasize daily exercise for everyone in the house. Make sure to focus on the positive, not the number on the scale."


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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Laura October 18, 2008, 7:15 PM

It says you are 17 yet is that beer in that huge mug in the picture?

Hollie's mom October 19, 2008, 10:57 AM

Yes, but it wasnt hers. That picture was on our vacation to Solvang. She came over to that side of the table to take a picture with me. :>

Kimberly October 19, 2008, 6:33 PM

funny- the only thing Laura noticed & commented on was the beer mug- instead of how great & happy the girl looks.
Some people……

Hollie, the obvious hard work over the last year has surely paid off- good for you!

Reenie October 21, 2008, 11:36 AM

This is something to be soooo proud of , I was a fat teen and know the problems and how life can be , you cannot diet this off, I think it is Fantastic!!! You look amazing Go girl!!!! and have an unbeliveable life!!

Alyssa January 7, 2009, 7:49 PM

I think its awesome.
Im 17 years old 5’3 and 245 and i just started looking into the surgery it’s something i REALLY want.
You look awesome! And I really admire everything you did.

Aled February 3, 2009, 5:46 AM

Hard work? She got the size of her stomach vastly reduced so she could no longer overeat thus if she sat in her room all day would still lose weight. Undoubtedly a big operation and a very troublesome time in her life, the bottom line is so long as you don’t take in as much as you use up you’ll lose weight. Fact.

Naomi Fairfax August 16, 2010, 1:11 PM

Congrats to Hollie! To maintain her amazing weight loss, I recommend she check out the free weight loss solutions over at

Weight Loss January 25, 2011, 9:27 AM

Yes, however it wasnt hers. That image was on the holiday to Solvang. She arrived more Quick weight loss than to that aspect of the desk to get the picture beside me. :>

Tom March 21, 2011, 6:56 PM

I feel bad for her, losing weight is harder on some people than others based on genetics. I’m constantly watching what I eat otherwise, I’ll gain a ton of fat which for me is hart to lose.

all the best,
Tom the how to lose stomach fat

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