The global obesity problem has been targeted by multiple alternative therapies including surgery (with and without devices), a variety of over the counter and ethical drugs (and combinations of them), behavioral therapies and other approaches.

The biggest opportunity appears to be for obesity drugs, ostensibly since they avoid invasive surgery (and need for repeat).  However, despite recent trends toward rapprochement between the FDA and the obesity drug industry (see Contrave, Lorcaserin, and Qnexa), there is little belief that any particular drug manufacture is imminently poised for a windfall in obesity drug sales.

Consequently, the onus of intervention for serious obesity remains on bariatric surgeries.  These include sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, Roux en-Y bypass and the less frequently used biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch.  With demand historically rising at aggressive rates and prevalence, based on clinical trends, projected to continue, bariatric surgeries (as well as associated obesity device sales) will remain one of the true high growth surgical procedures.

Below is illustrated the 2003 to 2013 trend in bariatric surgery, drawn from MedMarket Diligence's 2011 report #S835, "Products, Technologies and Markets Worldwide for the Clinical Management of Obesity, 2011-2019."

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S835.