Defining Obesity

Obesity is a condition where you have too much body fat for your height. We measure obesity by calculating body mass index or BMI. BMI estimates the amount of fat you are carrying in relation to your height. However, obesity is not the same as being overweight (when your weight is more than healthy for your height). We use it to determine if patients are candidates for bariatric surgery.

bmi index

Clinically Severe Obesity

Clinically severe obesity, or morbid obesity, causes serious health consequences and challenges. It is a BMI greater than or equal to 30. Morbidly obese patients, not overweight patients, can be treated through bariatric surgery.

bmi key

Effects of Obesity

Obesity can greatly affect both your quality of life and health.

Quality of Life

Common patient concerns that we hear include the following:

  • Tired of feeling unhealthy; concerned for health
  • Want to be able to play with children/grandchildren
  • Unable to fit into seats on airplanes, in move theaters, on amusement park rides
  • Can’t participate in activities they used to enjoy
  • Difficulty with daily activities and hygiene
  • Social stigma and discrimination
  • Multiple medications for weight-related medical problems

Health Risks

The health risks of obesity can include medical problems and complications with medical conditions because of extra weight:

  • Increased medical problems
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure/cholesterol
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Obstructive sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancer
  • Increased complications of pregnancy, menstrual irregularity, stress incontinence, and depression
  • Increased chance of death (mortality)

If you concerned with your quality of life and health, you may qualify for bariatric surgery. Learn more about who can qualify for bariatric surgery.

*1998 NIH Clinical Guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults