What Is Obesity?
Obesity is a complex disorder involving excessive body fat. Obesity increases a person’s risk of health problems and often reduces or limits mobility. For decades obesity was dismissed as a simple problem of “eating too much and exercising too little.”
Today the medical community knows better. Obesity is a complicated health condition with many contributing factors, including genes, metabolism, medical conditions, environment, socioeconomic status, culture, and even the makeup of a person’s gut flora.
How Obesity Is Measured
Obesity is generally determined using body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on a person’s weight in relation to their height.
- A BMI of 30 or greater is classified as obese
- A BMI of between 35-39.9 is classified as severely obese
- A BMI of 40 or greater is classified as morbid obesity
While there are some legitimate concerns about the accuracy of BMI (a person’s muscle mass, water weight, and other factors that affect weight are not considered in BMI), it is a reliable tool for the general population.
Obesity Is Not a Moral Failing
It’s important for people suffering with obesity to know that it is not a moral failing. The explosive obesity epidemic in the U.S. illustrates this clearly—Americans didn’t suddenly lose all self-control in a single generation, yet this is precisely how quickly our obesity problem has grown.1
Today, more than one-third of all adults in the U.S. are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)2, and obesity could affect up to 50 percent of the U.S. population by the year 2030.3
Obesity-Related Health Conditions
Beyond the physical discomfort and negative feelings associated with carrying excess weight, being obese can cut a person’s life short by up to 8 years or more, and the risk is 3 times greater for men than for women.4
Obesity forces the body’s organs, like the heart and lungs, to work harder, and it can cause or worsen medical conditions, including:
- Sleep apnea
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)
- Heart attacks and stroke
- Fatty liver (excess fat in the liver that leads to inflammation and liver damage)
- Joint pain and osteoarthritis
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance in females that can affect menstruation and ovulation
- Infertility and sexual dysfunction
Bariatric Surgery for Weight Loss
Given its complexity, obesity requires an individualized treatment approach. People with obesity who have struggled to lose weight through diet and exercise alone, or who have a dangerous co-occurring medical condition (such as uncontrolled type 2 diabetes) may be candidates for weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery can help you lose as much as 85% of your excess weight, and it’s a proven method of resolving co-occurring medical conditions like sleep apnea and high blood pressure.
Houston Sleeve Surgery Clinic offers all of the following weight loss procedures:
- Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)
- Sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve)
- Gastric banding (Lap band) evaluation and revision
Contact Houston Sleeve Surgery Clinic today at 281-888-7767 for a one-on-one consultation with our highly-skilled Houston, TX bariatric surgeons. Our caring and compassionate staff provides a continuum of care, from your initial consultation to post-recovery follow-up. We’ll guide you every step of the way through your weight loss journey, providing resources, information, and encouragement. Our passion is helping improve quality of life for our patients.