Bariatric medicine focuses on the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity. Bariatric specialists are trained in medically supervised weight loss and the management of obesity as a chronic condition. These specialists are skilled in various disciplines that help patients lose weight and obtain optimal health.
The field encompasses dieting, exercise and behavioral therapy, anti-obesity medication, pharmacotherapy and surgery. Bariatric specialists might be from surgical backgrounds and perform obesity-related operations or they might be nutrition and hormone focused, prescribing diet and exercise plans as well as weight loss medications.
Patients defined as obese or having unhealthy Body Mass Indices (BMI) have much greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, hypertension, many types of cancer and chronic musculoskeletal problems.
One subspecialty of bariatrics is the focus on the correlation between obesity and mortality.