What is Obesity?
Obesity is one of the major health problems confronting the United States. An estimated 60 percent of the population is overweight, and more than 5 million Americans are more than 100 pounds over their ideal weight. Most obese individuals have struggled with their weight for many years.
What Is The Difference Between Obesity and Overweight?
Your doctor will distinguish whether or not you are overweight or obese based off of your body mass index, also known as BMI. A BMI is a measure of an individual’s percentage of body fat based off of their weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.
Being overweight is generally defined as having a BMI of 25 or more, while weighing 30 percent or more than the ideal body weight is considered obese.
Morbid obesity is a serious life-threatening disorder that affects more than one in 20 adult's ages 20 and older in the United States (http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/PDFs/stat904z.pdf page 2). The National Institutes of Health define morbid obesity as anyone who is 100 pounds or more overweight or anyone who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 and above.
Health Risks of ObesityThe American Journal of Medicine reports that 280,000 morbidly obese people die every year from weight-related problems. Within the next few years, obesity is expected to bypass smoking as the single largest cause of death from preventable diseases.
Obesity, and particularly morbid obesity, puts an individual at increased risk for the following conditions:
Gall bladder disease
High blood pressure
Some forms of cancer
Morbid obesity increases the risk of a shorter life expectancy. Individuals whose body weight exceeds twice their ideal body weight are seven times greater than non-obese people to develop diabetes or experience a heart attack. Weight gain alone can lead to end-stage obesity where no treatment options are available.
Obesity Surgery Options
The numerous diets, commercial slimming clubs and weight loss centers offering "quick" and "easy" treatments such as hypnosis, pituitary hormones, appetite suppression drugs and behavioral therapy attest to how difficult and frustrating it is to lose weight. Some of these weight loss strategies may be successful in people with mild obesity, but nearly all fail in individuals 100 pounds or more over their ideal body weight. At present, weight loss surgery is the only proven, effective therapy for severe obesity or morbid obesity.
View weight loss surgery options for obesity