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Information about Morbid Obesity


Morbid Obesity

Morbid obesity, defined as having a Body Mass Index of 40 or more, is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It increases the risk of serious illness from over 30 different medical conditions, including diabetes and hypertension. Today, approximately nine million adult Americans can be considered morbidly obese.

To some extent, morbid obesity is hereditary. Evidence suggests that genetic influences can account for roughly 33 percent of a person's body weight. We now know that children with a strong family history of obesity are much more likely to struggle with their weight as adults.

Environmental influences and socioeconomic factors also increase a person's risk of morbid obesity. The influence of socioeconomic factors is particularly strong in women; low-income women with fewer resources to devote to diet and exercise are twice as likely to suffer from morbid obesity as women with a higher socioeconomic status. African Americans and Hispanic Americans also appear to have a higher risk of developing morbid obesity due to cultural factors that influence dietary choices and levels of physical activity.Don't have insurance coverage for Lap-Band surgery? Financing now available for Lap-Band patients!

Health Risks of Morbid Obesity

  • Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

  • Daytime Sleepiness

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

  • Diabetes (Type 2)

  • End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

  • Gallbladder Disease

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  • Heat Disorders

  • Hypertension

  • Impaired Immune Response

  • Impaired Respiratory Function

  • Infections Following Wounds

  • Infertility

  • Liver Disease

  • Low Back Pain

  • Obstetric and Gynecologic Complications

  • Pain from Morbid Obesity

  • Pancreatitis from Morbid Obesity

  • Sleep Apnea from Morbid Obesity

  • Stroke from Morbid Obesity

  • Urinary Stress Incontinence from Morbid Obesity

Gastric bypass surgery and LAP-BAND surgery are two newer solutions to the health crisis of morbid obesity. Both of these surgeries involve decreasing the size of the stomach to allow for fullness with less food consumption. While both procedures carry risks, they have been shown to be effective for many in losing significant amounts weight and maintaining that weight loss.

Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, yet receives very little research funding. Unfortunately, obesity related medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension receive much more funding than morbid obesity itself. Since healthcare costs of American adults with obesity amount to roughly $100 billion each year, increased research funding would be a wise investment.

According to the American Obesity Association, one in three adults can be considered obese. Obesity is defined as being 30 pounds or more over the ideal body weight for your height or having a Body Mass Index of 30 or more. In the United States, nearly 300,000 people each year die from obesity-related health problems.

Clearly, obesity is a significant health care issue for many Americans. Everyone needs a certain amount of body fat for stored energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions. As a rule, women have more fat than men. Doctors generally agree that men with more than 25 percent body fat and women with more than 30 percent body fat are obese.

In scientific terms, obesity occurs when a person's calorie intake exceeds the amount of energy he or she burns. What causes this imbalance between consuming and burning calories is unclear. Evidence suggests that obesity often has more than one cause. Genetic, environmental, psychological, and other factors all may play a part

Treatment options for obesity are explored in depth in other fact sheets. The method of treatment will depend on how obese a person is. Factors such as an individual's overall health and motivation to lose weight are also important considerations. Treatment may include a combination of diet, exercise, and behavior modification.  If you have tried all of these methods mentioned and none have worked, gastrointestinal surgery may be recommended.



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What to expect from the surgery  l  After Lap Band surgery  l  Compare lap band to gastric bypass  l  StomaphyX

Adjustable Gastric Banding  l  Gastric Bypass Surgery  l  Realize Gastric Banding  l  Vertical Gastric Sleeve  l  Duodenal Switch

Types of weight loss surgery  l  Surgery Comparison Chart  l  Weight loss surgery myths  l  Choosing a bariatric surgeon

Types of weight loss surgeries  l  Bariatric surgery centers  l  Facts about obesity  l  Obesity and fertility  l  About morbid obesity

Obesity treatment options  l  Obesity surgery  l  Weight loss options  l  Contact Us

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