What is bariatrics?

Bariatrics is a field of medicine specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to obesity. Obesity is a medical condition in which an individual has excess body fat and a body mass index (BMI) over 30. There are three classes of obesity 

  1. Class 1: BMI 30-34.9
  2. Class 2: BMI 35-39.9
  3. Class 3: BMI 40+ 

Because obesity is a leading cause of preventable chronic diseases, including heart disease, bariatrics focuses on improving health primarily through diet and exercise.  

In some cases, bariatric treatment involves bariatric surgery, which is the surgical removal of excess fat.  

Why is bariatrics important to healthcare?

Bariatrics is important because it improves the health of many individuals living with obesity. Bariatrics supports individuals in making meaningful changes to their lives. Some changes might include incorporating more exercise, improving diet and receiving behavioral therapy to lose weight and decrease the likelihood of developing preventable conditions.