Author Affiliation: Minimally Invasive Bariatric and General Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The obesity epidemic is a major threat to public health. Estimates by the World Health Organization indicate that in 2008 more than 1.4 billion adults or 21% of the world population were overweight, a substantial proportion of whom (>500 million) were obese, and these numbers continue to increase.1 Sixty-five percent of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity are linked to more deaths than underweight and malnutrition.1 For severe obesity, bariatric surgery is the only treatment resulting in significant and sustained weight loss. Nevertheless, only a very small fraction of the eligible candidates undergo surgery.2
Courcoulas AP. Progress in Filling the Gaps in Bariatric Surgery. JAMA. 2012;308(11):1160-1161. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.12337