Understanding Obesity

Obesity has become the #1 public health problem in our country today – more than half of Americans are overweight and roughly 12 million Americans have severe obesity (defined as a body mass or 35 or more).

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Obesity is a Disease

Obesity is a chronic, metabolic disease caused by multiple and complex factors, including increased calorie intake, decreased physical activity and genetic influences. Morbid obesity is a health condition defined as being at least 60 to 100 pounds over your ideal body weight. Obesity is a major cause of premature death and many other medical conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, sleep apnea and degenerative joint disease.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity is not a sign that a person is out of control. Many things can contribute to this condition, your body such as:

  • Energy balance – Your body may take too much energy from food.
  • Heredity – You have a higher risk of obesity if it runs in your family.
  • Metabolic disorders – Your body’s metabolism may affect your weight.
  • Eating and social habits – An unbalanced diet, snacking between meals and too little exercise can all lead to obesity.
  • Psychological factors – Social and emotional eating are among the main causes of excessive weight gain.

Impact of Obesity

The severely obese individual faces health, social and psychological problems that are not fully recognized by society. Obesity has overwhelming consequences from the perspective of poor health. Co-morbidities such as high blood pressure, infertility, arthritis, diabetes, sleep apnea heart and lung disease, as well as, a shorten life span go hand in hand in the lives of most obese individuals. For some even everyday tasks such as getting in and out of a car can be a challenge and drain their strength.

Obese man sitting on bed looking out window

Measuring Obesity

A formula used to determine morbid obesity is the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is calculated by using your height and weight to determine your overall body composition. Specifically obesity is an excess of body fat tissue. It is associated with increased cell size and number. Population studies indicate a direct correlation between Body Mass Index (BMI) and morbidity and mortality. If you don’t know your BMI, take a moment to Check Your BMI now.

Calculate Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

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Obesity Health Risks

Obesity-related health conditions are health conditions that, whether alone or in combination, can significantly reduce your life expectancy. The risk of death from diseases such as diabetes or heart attack is five to seven times greater for obese individuals. Even beyond the issue of obesity-related health conditions, weight gain alone can lead to a condition known as “end-stage” obesity where, for the most part, no treatment options are available. Yet an early death is not the only potential consequence. Social, psychological and economic effects of morbid obesity, however unfair, are real and can be especially devastating.

Common Co-morbidities Connected with Obesity

  • Type 2 Diabetes – Obese individuals develop a resistance to insulin.
  • High blood pressure / Heart disease – Excess body weight strains the ability of the heart to function properly.
  • Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints – The additional weight placed on joints, particularly knees and hips, results in rapid wear and tear producing pain and decreased mobility.
  • Sleep apnea / Respiratory problems – Fat deposits in the tongue and neck can cause intermittent obstruction of the air passage and loss of sleep resulting in daytime drowsiness and headaches.
  • Depression – Seriously overweight persons face constant challenges to their emotions: repeated failure with dieting, disapproval from family and friends, sneers and remarks from strangers. They often experience discrimination at work, cannot fit comfortably in theatre seats, or ride in a bus or plane.
  • Infertility / Menstrual irregularities – Morbidly obese woman often experience disruptions of the menstrual cycle, including interruption of the menstrual cycle, abnormal menstrual flow and increased pain associated with the menstrual cycle and have difficulty getting pregnant.

The above list is only a partial list of the co-morbities and an explanation of the impact that being severely overweight has in the lives of the obese. For more detail information please attend one of our on-demand webinars or schedule a personal consultation.

Additional Costs of Obesity

The personal cost of living with obesity can also be significant. Consider the following out of pocket healthcare and personal expenses:

  • Over-the-counter medication costs
  • Co-pays for doctor office visits
  • Co-pays for lab work
  • Co-pays for specialists
  • Prescription co-pays
  • Co-pays for physical therapists/allied health professionals
  • Employment inactivity costs (days of missed work)
  • Non-surgical weight loss programs (such as Weight Watchers® or Jenny Craig®) and Grocery and dining costs

These expenditures quickly add up. You may find that dramatic weight loss can greatly reduce your weight related costs.

The Journey to the New
You Begins Here

We look forward to helping you reclaim your health and find weight loss success! Contact us with any questions or to schedule your consultation appointment.

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Happy overweight couple embracing

The doctors at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.

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