About Morbid Obesity

What is Morbid Obesity?

Morbid obesity is a severe and dangerous level of obesity that significantly and negatively impacts health and shortens the lifespan.

For a patient to be considered clinically severe, or morbidly obese, he or she must have a body mass index or BMI of 35–39.9 with one or more severe health conditions or a BMI of 40 or greater.

Why is Morbid Obesity More Serious Than Obesity?

Many of the same conditions that result from obesity are also found in people who are morbidly obese. But in someone who is considered morbidly obese, these same conditions are a much more serious risk to health and quality of life in general. Some of the most common diseases include:

  • Diabetes
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon)
  • Stroke

Causes of Morbid Obesity

Morbid obesity is caused by the interaction of many factors, but there are three main areas of concern:

  • Our family lineage

Studies have demonstrated that genetics plays a large role in whether or not a person becomes obese. And while not all individuals who have obesity in their family will become obese, their genes can predispose them to conditions that result in obesity.

  • Our habits and behaviors

Behaviors that are commonly linked to obesity include but are not limited to unhealthy diets, eating past the point of fullness and lack of physical activity. As Americans we are eating far more calories than we need and we are doing less physical labor and fewer activities.

  • The world we live in

Our environment also has a lot to do with excess body weight. Restaurants serve much larger portions than in the past. Advertising entices us to purchase large amounts of high-calorie foods. And a fast-paced culture fosters both an increase in stress and a decrease in sufficient rest—factors that contribute greatly to weight gain.

Being Morbidly Obese is Deadly

Left untreated, morbid obesity in younger and middle aged men and women can significantly increase the risk of premature death. Morbidly obese people are more than 2 times more likely to die prematurely. And teens who are morbidly obese are estimated to live between 8 and 13 years less than their peers.

The Good News

Morbidly obese patients gain the most from bariatric surgery. These are patients who have tried many other weight loss methods but have not succeeded in bringing and/or maintaining their weight within safe limits.

Know Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

Calculate your BMI right nowFor more information, please call 678-312-6200, or complete the online form and someone will contact you.


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