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About Obesity

About Obesity

What is morbid obesity?

Most people think morbid obesity is a choice or lifestyle. But that’s not medically accurate. It is a chronic disease that causes other life-threatening diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Evidence suggests that a genetic predisposition exists to morbid obesity, meaning there is very little someone with that gene can do about it, anymore than a non-obese diabetic can decide not to be a diabetic. A 1991 report by the National Institutes of Health helps support that by finding that attempts at weight loss for the morbidly obese by diet and exercise alone resulted in a 95-98% failure rate. Could it be that such a huge number of people could not make that change to their bodies, despite serious determination, because of genes?  

Am I morbidly obese?

In medical terms, “morbid” means something that can cause injury or shorten your life expectancy. In morbid obesity, that thing is weight.
Defining morbid obesity falls to measuring your body’s mass through a calculation using your weight and height. The resulting number is your Body Mass Index (BMI) and reflects what is too little, normal and too much for your height.
To be defined as morbidly obese, someone needs to be 100 pounds over their ideal body weight (as determined by actuarial data based on the weight at which you are likely to live the longest). You also need a BMI greater than 40 or if you have associated diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis, then a lesser BMI can qualify.

Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of your body fat based on height and weight. Though it does not directly measure percent of body fat, it does provide a more accurate measure of appropriate weight ranges than weight alone.

To qualify for obesity surgery, you need a BMI of 40 or more. But you may also qualify with a BMI of 35, if you suffer from obesity-related health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, people (18 or older) with a BMI of 25 or more are considered at risk for premature death and disability as a consequence of overweight and obesity. These health risks increase as the obesity increases.

BMI Categories:

  • Underweight =
    18.5 or less
  • Normal weight =
    18.5 – 24.9
  • Overweight =
    25 – 29.9
  • Obese (class I) =
    30 – 34.9
  • Obese (class II) =
    35 – 39.9
  • Obese (class III) =
    40 or more

What else am I suffering from because of morbid obesity?

This chronic disease, morbid obesity, is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, arthritis, stress incontinence, acid reflux, and hypercholesteolemia. But studies show a 96% reduction in these related afflictions and diseases with treatment of the obesity, making the effect of weight loss surgery remarkable and gratifying for more than just the release from extra weight and the emotional boost from feeling more attractive and active.

What can I do to lose my excess weight?

You could try another diet, another medication or the latest fad. But no scientific evidence exists that any of these solutions work for the severely obese.
But you might consider a surgical weight loss program to help you regain control of your body. The goal of surgical weight reduction is to reduce the size of the stomach so that you are satisfied with smaller amounts of food. The gastric bypass also makes it uncomfortable to eat carbohydrates, a major source of calories for the morbidly obese.
Most importantly, be aware that surgery is not a cure for the chronic disease of morbid obesity, but is a very effective tool to fight the disease. However, the surgery does not relieve you from making wise decisions or some self-determination. It only helps your body help you make those decisions easier. If you snack, do not exercise, do not take recommended vitamins and participate in ongoing post-surgical support programs, you can regain weight. At Obesity Solutions, our program is designed to help you maximize your success.
Contact us at Obesity Solutions