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 and not for individuals with a mild weight problem. The
October 19, 2005, issue of JAMA includes several articles about bariatric
surgical procedures for the treatment of obesity.