The term bariatrics was coined around 1965, from the Greek root bar- ("weight" as in barometer), suffix -iatr ("treatment," as in pediatrics), and suffix -ic ("pertaining to"). The field encompasses dieting, exercise and behavioral therapy approaches to weight loss, as well as pharmacotherapy and surgery. The term is also used in the medical field as somewhat of a euphemism to refer to people of larger sizes without regard to their participation in any treatment specific to weight loss, such as medical supply catalogs featuring larger hospital gowns and hospital beds referred to as "bariatric."
Overweight and obesity are rising medical problems. There are many detrimental health effects of obesity: Individuals with a BMI (Body Mass Index) exceeding a healthy range have a much greater risk of medical issues. These include heart disease, diabetes mellitus, many types of cancer, asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, and chronic musculoskeletal problems. There is also a focus on the correlation between obesity and mortality.
Overweight and obese people, including children, may find it difficult to lose weight on their own. It is common for dieters to have tried fad diets only to find that they gain weight, or return to their original weight, after ceasing the diet.
Methods of treatment
Although diet, exercise, behavior therapy and anti-obesity drugs are first-line treatment, medical therapy for severe obesity has limited short-term success and very poor long-term success. Weight loss surgery generally results in greater weight loss than conventional treatment, and leads to improvements in quality of life and obesity related diseases such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus. The combination of approaches used may be tailored to each patient. Bariatric treatments in youth must be considered with great caution and with other conditions that may not have to be considered in adults.
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- Obesity, Childhood obesity
- Classification of obesity, Classification of childhood obesity
- Epidemiology of obesity, Epidemiology of childhood obesity
- Obesity and walking
- Social stigma of obesity
- Blubber – an extra-thick form of adipose tissue found in some marine mammals.
- Body fat percentage
- Selfish brain theory
- Steatosis (also called fatty change, fatty degeneration or adipose degeneration)
- Subcutaneous fat
- Adipose differentiation-related protein
Organizations and journals
- International Journal of Pediatric Obesity
- EPODE International Network, the world's largest obesity-prevention network
- World Fit A program of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), and the United States Olympians and Paralympians Association (USOP)
- Dictionary.com, based on Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House (2006):  Retrieved 15 April 2006
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- WHO factsheet on obesity
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- Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, The Evidence Report. NIH Publication NO. 98-4083, september 1998. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in cooperation with The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases.
- Gastrointestinal surgery for severe obesity: National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement. Am J Clin Nutr 1992; 55(S2):615S-619S PMID 1733140
- Colquitt J, Clegg A, Sidhu M, Royle P. "Surgery for morbid obesity. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2003; 2: CD003641 PMID 12804481
- Gerwecka, C.A.; Krenkela, J.; Molinia, M.; Frattingera, S.; Plodkowskia, R.; Jeora, S. St (2007), "Tailoring Information to the Needs of the Individual Patient Sustains Interest in the Weight Loss Program and Increases Compliance: A Pilot Project", Journal of the American Dietetic Association 107 (8): A83, doi:10.1016/j.jada.2007.05.212
- VIDEO: How Bariatrics Has Changed Our Understanding of Type II Diabetes Daniel McKenna speaks at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 2008.
- MedLinePlus Portal on Weight Loss Surgery