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Obesity Explained

For decades, obesity was viewed as a simple consequence of “eating too much” and “exercising too little.” Yet, anyone who has struggled to lose weight through diet and exercise knows this simply isn’t the case.

Today the medical community knows that obesity is a complex and multi-faceted health issue. In fact, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and The Obesity Society all consider obesity a disease.

Obesity Statistics in the U.S.

Obesity has reached epidemic levels in the U.S. Consider that more than one-third (34.9 percent) of American adults are obese today, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Obesity could affect 50 percent of the U.S. population by the year 2030.

While lifestyle choices are important, the reality is that obesity is the result of a complex interplay between genes, co-occurring medical conditions, environment, lifestyle, socioeconomic status, and even the makeup of a person’s gut microbiome. All of these things can determine a person’s propensity for obesity. Obesity is not your fault—it is not a moral failing.

Obesity-Related Health Conditions

Obesity is often associated with a lower life expectancy and reduced quality of life. Carrying an excessive amount of extra weight can limit your physical ability and lead to body pain (e.g., joint pain, sore muscles, etc.) and fatigue. It can also lead to other serious medical conditions that can reduce the quality of life, including:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

  • High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)

  • Diabetes

  • Heart attacks and stroke

  • Fatty liver (excess fat in the liver that leads to inflammation and liver damage

  • Sleep apnea

  • Joint pain and osteoarthritis

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance in females that can affect menstruation and ovulation

  • Infertility and sexual dysfunction

  • Cancer

  • Depression

Learn more about conditions related to obesity.

How Obesity Is Measured

Body mass index (BMI) is widely used as a measure of body fat based on a person’s weight in relation to their height. A BMI of 30 or greater is classified as obese. A BMI of 35-39.9 is classified as severely obese, and a BMI of 40 or greater is classified as morbidly obese. Use this calculator to learn your BMI.

While BMI is a reliable measurement tool for the general population, it should be noted that weight is dependent on a person’s muscle mass, water weight, and other factors. Your Houston weight loss doctor will help you better understand what your BMI means.

The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery for Weight Loss

Bariatric (weight loss) surgery has been a literal lifesaver for millions of people in the U.S. Not only can bariatric surgery help you lose as much as 50-85% of your excess weight, but it is a proven solution for both long-term weight loss and resolution of co-occurring medical conditions like hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

Bariatric Care Centers offer all of the following weight loss services:

  • Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)

  • Sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve)

  • Gastric banding (Lap band) evaluation and revision

  • Weight loss support groups

Contact Bariatric Care Centers today at 713-339-1353 for a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Mirza—your trusted Houston, TX weight loss surgeon. He and his caring staff will guide you every step of the way through your weight loss journey, providing all the resources, information, and encouragement you’ll need. Our passion is helping improve the quality of life for each and every one of our patients.

Sources

  1. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/WeightManagement/Obesity/Treating-Obesity-as-a-Disease_UCM_459557_Article.jsp

  2. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

  3. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-trends/#ref4

  4. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-gut-bacteria-help-make-us-fat-and-thin/

Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles and videos. Every patient has individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

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