Morbid Obesity

What it Means

Morbid obesity, also referred to as clinically severe obesity, is a serious disease where excess weight begins to impact the body's most basic functions such as walking and breathing, and is accompanied by other conditions which raise mortality 10-fold or more. A person is diagnosed as having morbid obesity when their body weight is about 100 pounds over ideal or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater. You may check yours by entering your height and weight in the calculator below:

More and more studies indicate that genetics plays the central role in a person's weight, whether it's overweight, or very thin. The disease of obesity has been shown to run in families that are genetically predisposed to being overweight, although it does not mean that all family members will be overweight.

The reasearch proves that diet and exercise alone simply do not work in the long term for 95-97% of patients with extreme obesity.

Risk Factors

It's a fact that people with morbid obesity die earlier than others and have a poorer quality of life. Consider this:

  • People with morbid obesity have the highest risk for developing numerous illnesses that often severely impact their quality of life due to their excess weight. For example, Type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, hypertension (leading to stroke and heart attack) and osteoarthritis have been found to increase concurrently with higher BMI.
  • Morbid Obesity is associated with a startlingly increased risk of various forms of cancer, including uterine, breast (in females and males), prostate and colon.
  • Overweight people of both sexes, especially young overweight people, tend to die sooner than their lean contemporaries. This substantial increase in health risks has made obesity the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
  • For people whose weight exceeds twice their ideal body weight, the risk of death can be over 10 times greater than non-obese individuals.
  • The risk of death from diabetes or heart attack in the morbidly obese is 5 to 7 times greater than in the normal weight population.
  • Statistically people with morbid obesity have 20-year shorter life span.
  • Morbid obesity can also cause or worsen depression. While the incidence of Major Depression is 20-25% in the normal-weighted population, it is 89% in the morbidly obese population. Some individuals with morbid obesity often have low self-esteem and other psychological difficulties due to feeling isolated and shunned by societal and cultural taboos about excessive weight.
  • Persons with obesity are often victims of employment and other discrimination, and are penalized for their condition despite many federal and state laws and policies.

Other Major Risk Factors

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • High Cholesterol
  • Gastric Reflux Disease
  • Stress Urinary Incontinence
  • Pulmonary embolus
  • Psychosocial impairment
  • Cancer
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Hepatitis and Cirrhosis of the liver
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