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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Barriers to Bariatrics?

So today we discussed how to best rename the combined Adult Weight Management Clinic at the Alex, which would provide all aspects of tertiary obesity care (behavioural, medical & surgical).

An obvious suggestion was Weight Wise Adult Bariatric Clinic (WW-ABC).

The question was, would people then assume that this is a purely surgical clinic as the term "bariatric" is generally associated with surgery?

Well, the fact of the matter is that the term "bariatric" is actually simply the proper medical terminology for the branch of medicine that deals with the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity. It stems from the Greek root baro ("weight," as in barometer) and suffix -iatrics ("a branch of medicine," as in pediatrics or geriatrics).

The term "bariatrics" is increasingly used to describe all aspects of obesity care including:

  • bariatric nursing
  • bariatric psychiatry
  • bariatric pharmacology
  • bariatric psychology
  • bariatric furniture
  • bariatric rehabilitation
  • bariatric skin care
  • bariatric research
  • etc.
So if "bariatrics" is the official term for obesity care, then this should be an obvious choice as a name for the clinic (after all, that's what we do).

Will people understand what this means? I guess we'll have to teach them.

Appreciate all comments and takes on this!


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