People struggling with their weight will probably tell you that obesity is much more than just how you look. More than one-third of our adult population is obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Obesity is now considered a disease by the American Medical Association (AMA) and World Health Organization. This classification can have some potential benefits for people trying to lose pounds.
How to define obesity
Typically, Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to determine if a person is overweight or obese. If your BMI is above 25, you are considered overweight, and above 30 is considered obese.
BMI is not a foolproof method, as it doesn’t take into account people who may have very high muscle tone, such as bodybuilders. These people may have a higher number on the scale but very little body fat. In addition, special populations like pregnant women and the elderly may have a BMI that does not accurately represent their overall health. Nonetheless, BMI can be used for most of the population to estimate a person’s overall health and potential problems with weight. Calculate your BMI to find out where you stand.
Obesity and health problems
Obesity is considered to be an epidemic, having greatly increased in prevalence across the world, especially in the last 25 years. The health problems associated with obesity are numerous and serious, including:
- Heart attacks (America’s number one killer)
- High blood pressure and cholesterol – which can lead to heart attack and stroke
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea and breathing problems
- Certain cancers
Treating obesity as a disease
Now that obesity is classified as a disease, the AMA hopes that physicians will feel more encouraged and empowered to work with patients who are overweight and obese to help address the problem. They hope to reduce some of the co-morbidities associated with obesity, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. And, perhaps the stigma of being overweight will be alleviated when obesity is recognized as a valid health problem that affects so much of our world’s population.
If you are struggling with your weight or experiencing health problems associated with being overweight or obese, you are not alone. Talk with your physician to find out how you can get help. Your health and your life could improve significantly if you can get the medical care and guidance you need to overcome this condition.
CarePoint Health Bariatric Surgery
CarePoint Health Center for Bariatric Surgery offers a number of different weight-loss surgeries to help you meet your weight-loss goals, including sleeve gastrectomy, the LAP-BAND, REALIZE® Band, and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. To learn more about our bariatric surgery options, contact us at 201-795-8175 and register for our free seminar.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.