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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:

BMI 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
  • Cancer
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Stroke
  • 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.
  • Depression
  • Venous stasis disease - a condition of impaired blood flow in the veins, usually of the legs.
  • Infertility

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.