What is Morbid Obesity/ Causes of Morbid Obesity

Surgical Center for the Treatment of Morbid Obesity
Louis Fox, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Medical City Hospital, Dallas, Tx. 75230
phone 972.566.4560 – fax 972.566.6239 laparoscopic gastric banding

Causes of Obesity

  • Excessive volume of food eaten
  • Poor food choices with increased caloric intake
  • How your body converts food into energy- metabolism.
  • Low or decreased physical activity and exercise (sedentary lifestyle)
  • Genes that are inherited (genetics)
  • Medical conditions
  • Certain medicines
  • Socio-economic and environmental conditions
  • Psychological and emotional factors
  • Eating disorders
  • Poor lifestyle choices

What is Morbid Obesity?

Morbid Obesity is a chronic, potentially life threatening disease characterized by the storage of excess fat in the body. This contributes to the possible development of multiple health problems known as co-morbidities. Obesity becomes “morbid” when it reaches the point of significantly increasing the risk of one or more of those “co-morbidities” that can result in physical limitations, serious health problems, or death.

Morbid obesity is typically defined as being 100 lbs or more over ideal body weight, or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher. A person can also be considered Morbidly Obese with a BMI of 35-40 with certain associated co-morbidities.

Obese individuals have a 50%-100% increased risk of death from all causes as compared to normal weight individuals. As weight increases, the risk of premature death rises exponentially.

Obesity will soon overcome smoking as the number one cause of ‘preventable’ death in the United States. Today, 97 million Americans, more than one-third of the adult population, are overweight or obese; up to 10 million of those are considered Morbidly Obese. The United States is the most overweight nation in the world.

Morbid Obesity is not a choice or a lifestyle, but a chronic life-threatening disease that needs to be treated as such. It has now reached epidemic proportions. RAND economist Robert Sturm, PhD found that from 2000-2005 the U.S. obesity rate increased by 24%. But, the rate of severe obesity increased even faster. The number of people with a BMI over 40 grew by 50% – twice as fast. The number of people with a BMI over 50 grew over 75% – three times as fast!

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