What is Morbid Obesity? 

Obesity can be more than a lifestyle choice: an important distinction

Obesity, defined as a BMI > 30, is a complex, multifactorial, chronic diseases involving environmental, genetic, physiologic, metabolic, behavioral and psychological components. Some individuals may become overweight or obese partly because they have a genetic or biologic predisposition to gain weight readily. In most cases, however, the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity reflects societal, environmental, and behavioral changes over the past 20 to 30 years.

The condition of being obese is often misunderstood as a simple matter of self-control. Increasing evidence suggests that obesity is not a problem of will power or self-control, but a complex disorder involving appetite regulation and energy metabolism.    

Overview of Morbid Obesity

Morbid obesity, sometimes referred to as severe obesity, can be a fatal disease with lifestyle implications and medical complications that significantly impact health and quality of life while shortening life expectancy. It is estimated that at least 30 million Americans are significantly overweight, and approximately 7 million Americans are what we consider morbidly obese. Obesity has increased 60% in the last decade alone. Obesity has now been defines as “a critical public health problem”.

More importantly, obesity has been linked to a number of medical illnesses treated by primary care physicians including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and depression. According to some estimates, at least 400,000 deaths each year may be attributed to obesity.

Bariatric surgery is a method of addressing morbid obesity and treating, if not resolving, associated obesity-related diseases. Surgical treatment is the only proven method of achieving long-term weight control for the morbidly obese, when all other therapies have failed.

According to recent studies, patients who underwent bariatric surgery have significantly reduced rates of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, endocrinological disorders, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, psychiatric disorders and pulmonary disorders.

Your doctor has proposed the possibility of an operation to assist you in your attempts to lose weight. This is a life-changing measure that should not be undertaken lightly.