Obesity and Health
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a complex disease with multiple causes that results in unhealthy and inappropriate accumulation of stored fat in the body. In the United States, more than two-thirds of adults are considered overweight and nearly 60 million are considered obese.
Obesity is calculated by using the Body Mass Index (BMI). Individuals are considered obese if they have a BMI of 30 or more; severe obesity if they have a BMI over 35; and morbid obesity, which is a very serious condition, if their BMI is 40 or higher.
You can check your BMI using this calculator:
- Enter your height in feet:
- and inches:
- Enter your weight in pounds:
- Press the button to calculate your BMI:
- Your result:
What Causes Obesity?
The exact cause of obesity remains unknown, but there are many plausible theories. We do know that obesity is a disease and not simply a behavior. Factors that play a role in the development of obesity are:
- Genetic or inherited factors
- Family history of obesity
- Abnormality of genes that regulate metabolism, appetite and satiety
- Behavioral of psychological factors
- Using food as a coping mechanism
- Emotional eating
- Eating disorders
- Medical or endocrine causes
- Cultural or environmental causes
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Readily available high-calorie food
Health Risks of Obesity
Weight loss has a very substantial effect on your health, not just your appearance. Living with obesity puts you at a much higher risk for several serious medical conditions. The CDC lists the following conditions as a risk for those who have a BMI higher than 30.
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Dyslipidemia (high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
- Liver and Gall Bladder Disease
- Sleep Apnea and other Respiratory Problems
- Osteoarthritis and Joint Disease
- Gynecological Problems
- Obesity hypoventilation
- GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) - a condition in which the stomach contents leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- NAFLD (Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease)/ NASH (Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) - common liver diseases marked by excess fat in the liver.
- Pseudotumor Cerebri ("false brain tumor") - a condition likely caused by increased pressure within the skull.
- Venous stasis disease - a condition of impaired blood flow in the veins, usually of the legs.
Mather Hospital’s Bariatric Center of Excellence offers long-term weight loss procedures to help minimize and, in some cases, eliminate the risk of these serious weight-related medical conditions. With cutting edge technology and minimally invasive procedures, bariatric weight loss surgery is a safe and proven option for those who struggle with attaining long-term weight loss.
Health & Lifestyle Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
Losing weight through bariatric surgery is not just about appearance; it is about living a longer, healthier life. In addition to a new look and increased confidence, patients can see a major change in their overall health and well-being. Many of the medical conditions previously noted have been improved or resolved by Bariatric Surgery.