Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Obesity Medicine

  • Get tips on how to care for yourself at home after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

  • When are weight-loss medicines prescribed? Losing weight can be hard work. Maybe you are wondering if taking medicines could help make it easier for you. Prescription weight-loss medicines may help some people who haven't been able to lose weight with diet and exercise. But they don't help everyone. Doctors only...

  • Looks at adjustable gastric banding surgery (also called gastric banding), a type of weight-loss surgery used to treat obesity. Explains what it is and why it is done. Looks at how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Also covers risks.

  • Most pregnant women have healthy babies—and that includes women who are obese. But being very heavy does increase the chance of problems. Babies born to mothers who are obese have a higher risk of: Birth defects, such as a heart defect or neural...

  • What is bariatric surgery? Bariatric surgery (such as gastric bypass or banding) helps people lose weight. It's only used for people who are obese and have not been able to lose weight with diet and exercise. This surgery makes the stomach smaller. Some types of surgery also change how your stomach connects with...

  • "Overweight" and "at risk of overweight" are terms sometimes used when referring to children who weigh more than expected. Doctors use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts or the body mass index (BMI) to measure a child's weight in relation to his or her height. To find out your child's BMI...

  • Take weight-loss medicine, along with trying to eat healthy foods and being active. Try to lose weight without weight-loss medicines by eating healthy foods and being active. Being very overweight makes you more likely to have serious health problems, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Weight-loss...

  • Learn how a high BMI and waist size affect your health.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after you have gastric sleeve surgery.

  • Learn how Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Compare the pros and cons of having weight-loss surgery.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have weight-loss surgery.

  • Learn how laparoscopic gastric banding surgery is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Learn how gastric sleeve surgery is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after laparoscopic gastric banding surgery.

  • Hear how one teen got motivated to take charge of his weight and eating habits.

  • What is weight-loss surgery? Weight loss surgery helps people lose weight. There are two types of surgeries. They can be restrictive or a combination of restrictive and malabsorptive. Restrictive: This type of surgery makes the stomach smaller. It limits the amount of food the stomach can hold...

  • There are a number of ways to estimate what percentage of your weight is fat. But measuring body fat is not done routinely, because all of these methods have advantages and disadvantages as well as margins of error. Some common methods include: Skinfold thickness. An instrument called a caliper is...

  • Your waist size can be an important measure of health. Waist circumference Waist circumference is an indirect indicator of intra-abdominal fat tissue, often called visceral fat. A large waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and...

  • Discusses healthy weight and why it is important. Covers the main steps to reaching healthy weight. Discusses difficulties of losing weight. Covers nutrition, lifestyle changes, and physical activity. Offers tips for preparing for changes.

  • Looks at sleeve gastrectomy, a type of weight-loss surgery for obesity. Explains what it is and why it is done. Looks at how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Also covers risks.

  • Discusses gastric bypass surgery to treat obesity. Discusses why and when it is done. Covers laparoscopic and open Roux-en-Y surgery. Discusses risks during and after surgery.

  • Covers causes of obesity. Discusses health risks such as hypertension related to having excess body fat. Focuses on lifestyle changes you can make, like weight loss through healthy eating and exercise. Includes creating a long-term plan with your doctor.

  • There is a strong association between being overweight and the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). Being overweight increases your chances of having risk factors for CAD. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Losing...

  • Children Doctors weigh children at routine checkups. They plot measurements on a growth chart to see how your child compares physically to other children of the same age. Doctors update the chart at each routine exam to document your child's growth pattern. "Overweight" and "obese" are terms sometimes used when...

  • Liposuction removes fat from your body using suction. During liposuction, small, thin, blunt-tipped tubes (cannula) are inserted through tiny cuts in the skin. Fat is suctioned out through these tubes as the doctor moves the tubes around under the skin to target specific fat deposits. In recent years, improved...

  • Uses your child's weight and height to compare your child's size to that of other boys or girls of the same age. Covers what the results mean and next steps.

  • Many nonprescription products for weight loss are available at drugstores and supermarkets and over the Internet. Many of these have never been proved effective. And those that are effective often come with warnings. For example, many diet pills promote water loss from the body and may lead to dehydration or loss of...

  • Helps you check your risk of weight-related diseases such as diabetes, CAD, and high blood pressure. Tool calculates risk using body mass index (BMI) along with your waist size and other factors. Discusses what scores mean.

  • Guides through decision about whether to use a diet plan to lose weight. Explains what diet plans are and that not all diet plans are safe. Explains risks and benefits. Includes interactive tool to help you make a decision.

  • Adults with obesity are more likely to have certain health problems than adults who are not obese. These problems include the following. Heart disease and cardiovascular problems People who are obese have an increased risk of: Heart disease, including coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart...

  • If your child has been diagnosed by a doctor as being overweight or at risk of becoming overweight, a thorough medical exam is important to identify and treat any related health problems. History Your doctor will ask about: Your child's weight history, to see if your child has had an unusual change in rate of...

  • When a doctor asks questions about your child's eating and activity habits, the information helps identify patterns that may lead to extra weight. Nutrition history You may be asked: To describe your family's meals and snacks during a typical day. What your child eats at school. Who is responsible for meals. Is...

  • Your body mass index (BMI) and waist size affect your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. The following table shows the risk. Body mass index (BMI) and the risk for diseases Classification BMI Waist size and relative risk Men: less than 40...

  • Discusses biliopancreatic diversion, surgery for obesity that makes the stomach smaller and bypasses part of the intestine. Looks at why the procedure is considered only for people who have not been able to lose weight other ways or whose health is at risk. Includes risks.

  • Guides you through decision about weight-loss surgery. Covers health problems like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes that can be caused by obesity. Lists reasons for and against surgery. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to use over-the-counter diet aids for weight loss. Explains lack of evidence that diet aids work. Lists the risks and side effects. Includes information about Alli. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

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