Last year, ID F’s Taskforce on Epidemiology and Prevention of Diabetes convened a working group to review the role of surgery in the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Bariatric surgery, in which the gastrointestinal tract is operated on with the intention of achieving weight loss, has been shown to have significant metabolic benefit. In December last year, 20 people representing all the ID F regions, and different clinical disciplines, met at ID F’s headquarters to review the available evidence and consider the potential of the procedures for people with diabetes. The meeting had three principal goals: to develop a framework in which bariatric surgery could be assessed in the context of type 2 diabetes; to make recommendations on selection for surgery; and to identify priorities for research, with a global perspective. Carel LeRoux summarizes the findings.