Are You Obese?

Defining Obesity

Understanding obesity may give you the courage to take the first step toward surgery. Genetic factors play a significant role in obesity, but because of the stigma that comes with being obese, the medical condition is strongly misunderstood.

In the 1991 Consensus Report of the (NIH) the following conclusions were presented and clinically severe obesity was defined as:

  • Weight in excess of 100 pounds over the ideal calculated weight or Body Mass Index of approximately 40
  • Somewhat less than 100 pounds if there is a serious associated condition
  • Success in most cases of non-surgical treatment is only temporary
  • Most patients with clinically severe obesity have an organic, genetically based disease
  • Clinically severe obesity results in mortality rate greater than that of the general population in the same age group
  • Clinically severe obesity results in many serious medical, psychological, social and economic problems
  • Dietary regimens fail to provide long-term weight control in severely obese patients
  • People who are at least 100 pounds over their ideal body weight suffer severe health risks, not to mention discrimination, ridicule and misunderstanding.


Determining Obesity

  • Two of the most common methods for determining obesity are ideal calculated weight and body mass index.
  • Ideal Calculated Weight: The calculation for ideal calculated weight is:
  • For Men: 106 pounds for first five feet plus six pounds for each inch in height over five feet.
  • For Women: 100 pounds for first five feet plus five pounds for each inch over five feet.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI): The person’s weight in kilograms divided by his height in meters squared.

Click here to determine your own BMI

*A (BMI) of 40 is equal to approximately 100 pounds over ideal body weight, this is considered Morbidly Obese and represents a level for which weight loss surgery should be considered. When co-morbid conditions are present, a BMI of 35 or greater also indicates surgery should be considered.

Note: Some insurance companies and third party payers define obesity differently and insurance funding for bariatric surgery is not always available. For those whose insurance will not cover the procedure or those without insurance, pre-payment is sometimes an option.

Dangers of Obesity

There is considerable evidence that massive obesity shortens life. Obesity is also related to many other diseases. Many obese patients suffer from:

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Restrictive Lung disease
  • Pickwickian Syndrome (falling asleep while sitting up)
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Esophageal reflux
  • Infertility
  • Varicose Veins and stasis ulcers
  • Increased risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, and others

Morbid obesity is a medical disease with serious economic, social and psychological impact. Physical co-morbidities that affect the morbidly obese include:

  • Limited clothing choices and price
  • Furniture incapacity (seating in theaters, planes, buses, restaurant booths)
  • Personal hygiene (due to reach limitations)
  • Inability to tie shoelaces

Obese people also suffer from social and economic discrimination from family and friends. They also endure this at school, from healthcare providers and in the workplace.