Millions of individuals in the United States and around the world are overweight or obese (severely overweight). When weight increases to an extreme level, it is called morbid obesity. Obesity is associated with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, some types of cancer, and other medical problems. Bariatrics is the field of medicine that specializes in treating obesity. Bariatric surgery is the term for operations to help promote weight loss. Bariatric surgical procedures are only considered for people with severe obesity (about 100 pounds overweight or a body mass index greater than 40) and not for individuals with a mild weight problem. The February 10, 2010, issue of JAMA includes an article about laparoscopic (surgery performed through tubes) adjustable gastric banding for severely obese adolescents. This Patient Page is based on one previously published in the October 19, 2005, issue of JAMA.