Definition of Morbid Obesity

Calculating BMI (Body Mass Index) is an effective screening tool for measuring body fat based on height and weight. Obesity is a disorder involving excessive weight with a person’s BMI of 30 and over.

Morbid obesity means that an individual is extremely obese with a high BMI of at least 40+ or over 100 pounds overweight. Severe obesity comes with the danger of serious illness.

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A severely obese individual generally has one or more health problems, or comorbidity, related to the amount of excess weight. Those suffering from mild, moderate, or extreme obesity also have a higher risk of developing metabolic disorders.

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These obesity-related medical conditions can include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, heart, cardiovascular disease, 13 types of cancer, sleep apnea, etc. There are also physical, mental, and psychological issues associated with obesity.  Morbid obesity typically defines a body mass index level suitable to qualify for weight loss surgery in the United States.

Am I Morbidly Obese?


Weight Category

Obesity Class

Less than 18.5Underweight
18.5 to 24.9Normal – Healthy Weight
25 to 29.9Overweight
30 to 34.9ObeseClass I
35 to 39.9Severe ObeseClass II
40 to 49.9Morbidly ObeseClass III
Over 50Super Morbidly ObeseClass IV
Over 60Super-Super Morbidly ObeseClass V

What BMI is Considered to be Super Obese?

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, BMI measures an individual’s body fat strictly by height and weight as a standard metric.

  • BMI = 18.5 to 24.9 – Normal
  • BMI = 25 to 29.9 – Overweight
  • BMI = 30 to 39.9 – Obese
  • BMI = 40 to 49 – Morbidly Obese (Class III)
  • BMI = 50 to 59 – Super Morbidly Obese
  • BMI = 60+ – Super-Super Morbidly Obese
Morbidly Obese Chart - BMI Chart - What is Morbid Obesity - Am I Morbidly Obese

Morbidly Obese Chart

Body Mass Index is a widely used tool to measure obesity. BMI is a very “general” measurement of obesity using height and weight as the only factors.

Morbidly Obese Chart - What is Morbid Obesity - Am I Morbidly Obese

Health Indicators

With only two factors measuring excess body fat, BMI does not consider things like muscle, % body fat, and individuals with certain variables that put them in a different obesity class than they should be. Body Mass Index strictly measures your weight in kilograms (or pounds) and your height in inches/centimeters using standard or metric measures.

Waist Circumference (WC) is a helpful guideline for measuring obesity. The fat around our midsection is related to the fat around the organs. High waist measurement correlates to high blood fat, high blood pressure, coronary circulatory disease, and diabetes.

Waistline Measurement Chart*



Low RiskLess than 37 inLess than 31.5 in
High Risk37 – 40 in31.5 – 34.6 in
Very High RiskMore than 40 inMore than 34.6 in

* The risk factor cut-off depends on race and ethnicity.

Am I Morbidly Obese - See if you qualify for obesity treatment surgery