What is morbid obesity?
Morbid obesity, also referred to as clinically severe obesity or extreme obesity, is a chronic disease that afflicts approximately 9 million adult Americans. For comparison purposes, that is over twice the size of the total population with Alzheimer's disease. If the entire morbidly obese population lived in one state, it would be the 12th state in population. The health effects associated with morbid obesity are numerous and can be disabling. Often, individuals with morbid
obesity suffer with more than one health effect, creating a situation that can shorten life span and negatively impact quality of life.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a person is considered "obese" when he or she weighs 20 percent or more than his or her ideal body weight. At that point, the person's weight poses a real health risk. Obesity becomes "morbid" when it significantly increases the risk of one or more obesity-related health conditions or serious diseases (also known as co-morbidities). Morbid obesity--sometimes called "clinically severe obesity--is defined as being 100 lbs. or more over ideal body weight or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher.
According to the NIH Consensus Report, morbid obesity is a serious chronic disease, meaning that its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time. Today 97 million Americans, more than one-third of the adult population, are overweight or obese. An estimated 5-10 million of those are considered morbidly obese.
Obesity, in many ways, can make everyday life more daunting. It can even impact one's ability to make ends meet. In the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 1998 statement on obesity, the authors write, "Obesity is associated with an increased prevalence of socioeconomic hardship due to a higher rate of disability, early retirement, and widespread discrimination."
On top of that, morbid obesity has many proven associations with other debilitating diseases and health problems. Mobility and respiratory problems are often just the beginning. When you add these related dangerous health problems into the mix, morbid obesity increases a person's risk of death from numerous causes. In an official statement of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the authors write, "Taken together, the diseases associated with morbid obesity markedly reduce the odds of attaining an average life span and raise annual mortality tenfold or more."
More information on obesity
What is obesity? - Obesity is a condition in which the natural energy reserve of a mammal. In humans, the current measurement of obesity is the body mass index (BMI).
What is morbid obesity? - Morbid obesity is clinically severe obesity or extreme obesity.
What is central obesity? - Central obesity (or 'apple-shaped' or 'masculine' obesity), is when the main deposits of body fat are localised around the abdomen and the upper body.
What is the body mass index (BMI)? - The body mass index (BMI) is a mathematical formula that uses your weight and height information to calculate your body mass.
What causes obesity? - Genetic, environmental, psychological, and other factors may all play a role in the development of obesity.
What're health risks associated with obesity? - Obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions including: insulin resistance, heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes, cancer, gallbladder disease and gallstones.
How obesity is measured? - A number of tools are available to measure obesity. Most are based on height and weight ratios, body size and shape, and percent body fat.
How common is obesity? - Most health professionals say that obesity is an epidemic. Obesity in the adult population has doubled since 1980.
What's the treatment of obesity? - The mainstay of treatment for obesity is an energy-limited diet and increased exercise.
What's the dietary therapy for treatment of obesity? - Dietary therapy involves instruction on how to adjust a diet to reduce the number of calories eaten. Reducing calories moderately is essential to achieve a slow but steady weight loss, which is also important for maintenance of weight loss.
What's the exercise therapy (physical activity) for obesity treatment? - The primary goal of this therapy is to move sedentary people into an active category (even if it is moderate levels of intensity) and to move moderate level individuals into more vigorous levels.
What's the behavior therapy (physical activity) for obesity treatment? - Behavior therapy involves changing diet and physical activity patterns and habits to new behaviors that promote weight loss.
What about the drug therapy for obesity treatment? - Drug therapy may be used for weight loss and weight maintenance. Patients should be regularly assessed to determine the effect and continuing safety of a drug.
What about obesity surgery? - Obesity surgery is used to modify the stomach and or intestines to reduce the amount of food that can be eaten.
What's childhood obesity? - Obesity in children and adolescents is a serious issue with many health and social consequences that often continue into adulthood.