Obesity and overweight are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. It occurs when over time you eat more calories than you can use. The balance between calories-in and calories-out is different for each person. Factors that might affect person’s weight include genetic makeup, overeating, eating high-fat foods, and not being physically active.
Obesity is no longer considered a cosmetic issue that is caused by overeating and a lack of self-control. The World Health Organization (W.H.O.), along with National and International medical and scientific societies, now recognize obesity as a chronic progressive disease resulting from multiple environmental and genetic factors.
People with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher are considered obese. The term is used to describe the health condition of anyone significantly above his or her ideal healthy weight. Surgical obesity, a phrase coined by Dr. Wizman, encompasses all cases of obesity that can be treated by surgery.
Nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese. Being obese puts you at a higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.
The classification of obesity is used by physicians to determine appropriate treatment for overweight individuals. There are three classes of obesity that are separated by BMI:
- Class I – BMI 30 – 34.9
- Class II – BMI 35 – 39.9
- Class III – BMI greater than 40. This is also known as Morbid Obesity.
When a person has reached the surgical obese category, their health risks increase dramatically. The occurrence of medical conditions associated with obesity (such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, premature death, etc.) significantly increases as weight increases. The high incidence of medical conditions caused by being obese and the life threatening nature of these conditions, provide the rationale for performing bariatric surgery on individuals with a BMI of 30 or greater.