Obesity is a complex, multifactorial, chronic disease involving environmental (social and cultural), genetic, physiologic, metabolic, behavioral, and psychological components. It is the second leading cause of preventable death in the US (300,000 – 587,000 deaths per year).
Definition of Obesity
Morbid obesity exists when excess weight is associated with undesirable implications for general health and when:
- a person weighs at least twice his or her ideal weight
- a person weighs at least 100 lbs. (45 kilos) more than his or her ideal weight.
The above statements provide only a general description of morbid obesity. The exact degree of excess weight is determined using the Body Mass Index (BMI), which employs both weight and height to calculate the measurement.
Obesity Increases Health Risks
We use the term “morbid obesity” because this degree of excess weight may considerably reduce life expectancy and is associated with an increased risk of developing conditions or diseases such as:
- High blood pressure
- Joint problems
- Cerebral infarction
- Heart and vascular diseases
- Psychosocial problem
- Breathing difficulties, asthma
With proper weight loss, your health and quality of life can be improved while reducing your risk of developing associated conditions and diseases.
Read more: the Health Risks Tied to Obesity
Health Risks Shorten Life Span
If you already have some diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease, they can get worse as the more weight you gain, the more risk you have. As a result, your life expectancy is shorter. You also may be less capable of doing things to improve your health.
Exercise is important to good health. But severe obesity makes you less mobile. It is hard to exercise or take part in sports. Severe obesity can also affect fertility which means you are less likely to become pregnant. Even if you did become pregnant, you would most likely have more problems during pregnancy and childbirth.
People with a weight problem also often have a negative self-image. Obese children, for instance, could be teased at school and have few friends. You may find it hard to buy clothes that look good. Bus or train seats, telephone booths, and cars may be too small. You are also likely to be left out of social functions that require exercise. People with severe obesity often find themselves socially isolated which can lead to depression and even suicide.
Risks in day to day living
Even ordinary tasks become harder when you are severely obese. You tend to tire more quickly. You may also have breathing problems. Not being able to move as well makes it hard for some people to maintain personal hygiene.
Obesity Treatment: Weight-loss Surgery
If diets, exercise programs, and other non-surgical methods have failed to help you achieve long-term weight loss, you may want to consider a bariatric operation to reduce the capacity of your stomach and to help decrease and control your appetite.
Not everyone who has a weight problem should consider surgery. It depends on whether or not you are overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. One way to tell is by your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your BMI depends on both your weight and your height.
Who should consider weight-loss surgery?
An ideal BMI weight is from 19 to 25. If your BMI is between 25 and 30, you are thought to be overweight. If it is higher than 30, you are obese. A person with a BMI of 40 to 49 is morbidly obese. And a BMI of 50 or more is known as super obesity or super morbid obesity.
Important: If your BMI is 40 or more, you are said to have “morbid” obesity. A BMI higher than 40 suggests surgery might be a proper approach. For some people with a BMI between 35 and 40 (“severe” obesity), surgery might also be a good choice. These are people who have other conditions. For instance, if your BMI is 37 and you have severe sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus, or heart problems, your doctor might suggest surgery to help you lose weight via bariatric surgery. Find out if you qualify today.