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What Is Obesity

Obesity is a complex health issue caused by many factors involving behavior and genetics. Behaviors can include dietary patterns, physical activity, inactivity, and medication use. Additional contributing factors in our society include the social environment, education and skills, and food marketing and promotion. Obesity is a serious concern because it is associated with poorer mental health and reduced quality of life. It is one of the leading causes of death in the US and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Severe obesity is often hard to treat with diet and exercise alone.

Are You Obese?

You may be obese if you weigh more than what is considered healthy for your height. A body mass index (BMI) tool measures your weight in relation to your height to help determine if you are obese. Obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or more. A BMI above 40–which is about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds for women–indicates that you are severely obese.

BMI Chart

The Dangers of Obesity

Obesity is a chronic disease that can damage organs in the body, resulting in disability or premature death. Up to 300,000 people in the Unites States die each year due to obesity-related conditions. Oftentimes, diet and exercise do not work for the long term, making weight loss surgery the best and only choice to lose weight and save lives. Conditions that obesity leads to include:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Blood clots
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Degeneration of knees/hips
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Disc herniation
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gallstones
  • GERD (recurrent heartburn)
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Increased infection
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Low quality of life
  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Premature death
  • Risk of cancer
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Yeast infections
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