Bariatric Medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity. The field encompasses dieting, exercise and behavioral therapy approaches to weight loss, as well as pharmacotherapy and surgery.
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, as well as many types of cancer, asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, and chronic musculoskeletal problems.
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.
One of the main focuses of bariatric medicine is the restoration or implementation of healthy lifestyle choices, to improve a patient's overall health and reduce the risk that significant health problems will develop down the road. Proper dietary counseling is an essential part of a holistic approach to weight loss. It is important that a new diet and meal program strike a balance between being healthy, and still holding some appeal for the patient. Without this second element, it will likely be difficult to continue the program in the long term.