The global obesity epidemic is also affecting the Netherlands, paralleled by a proportional increase in the
number of morbidly obese persons. Bariatric surgery has
been included as a treatment for morbid obesity in the
Dutch Guideline for Obesity (2008). Nonetheless, bariatric surgery is applied in only a limited number of morbidly obese subjects in the Netherlands. Based on the most recent literature and Dutch statistics, this review provides a summary of current knowledge on the impact of obesity on health and health care and highlights the effective role of bariatric surgery in reducing this threat to public health.