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Contempo Updates
December 11, 2002

Bariatric Surgery and Long-term Control of Morbid Obesity

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Bariatric Surgery, Saint Peter's University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ, and Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.


Contempo Updates Section Editor: Janet M. Torpy, MD, Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2002;288(22):2793-2796. doi:10.1001/jama.288.22.2793

Obesity, defined as 20% or more than the ideal weight or body mass index (BMI, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) of 30 or more, has reached epidemic levels in the United States, affecting more than 30% of adults.1 Annual direct costs for treating obesity-related medical illnesses have been estimated at nearly $51.6 billion; the annual US expenditure on weight reduction exceeds $30 billion.2,3 It was recently estimated that the prevalence of obesity in US adults increased by 8% during the past decade. In the 21st century, obesity may be the number 1 US public health problem (http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/).