Obesity continues to emerge as a major health epidemic around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese which represents 50% of the American adult population. And, 10-15 million adults suffer from severe obesity.
The substantial increase in health risk associated with obesity has made it the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
What is obesity?
The definition of obesity is to have an increased body weight for your height. People with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30 are considered to be obese. Morbid obesity (a BMI of 40 or higher) is defined as being 100 pounds or more over your ideal body weight. The factors that contribute to obesity include genetics, environmental influences, eating disorders, metabolic factors, other health related issues and many other factors.
Our genetic make-up plays a major role in gaining excess weight. It determines our “susceptibility” or “risk” to becoming overweight or obese. Our personalized attitudes also influence our behavior regarding what we eat and how much we engage in physical activities in our daily lives.
Genetics determines our risk of becoming overweight or obese and how efficiently our body burns calories. Patients with high metabolic rates burn calories quickly compared to those who have slow metabolic rates. This is one factor that determines your susceptibility to gaining weight.
Environmental factors such as family influences, eating habits and fast food dinners can also affect how we people can gain weight. Increasing your physical activity in your daily routine can help burn calories and decreases your risk of gaining weight.
Eating disorders and other medical conditions also influence our body weight. This can affect your weight and success after bariatric surgery. If you have an eating disorder, it is equally important to consult a doctor to make sure that surgery is the right solution for you.
Obesity causes or worsens many medical conditions. These are termed medical co-morbidities. Co-morbidities can be major life threatening problems, or can be minor conditions that are not life threatening.
Major co-morbidities include the following:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol, etc.)
- Heart Disease
- Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Minor co-morbidities include the following:
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Degenerative Arthritis
- Urinary Incontinence
- Menstrual irregularity and infertility
Morbid obesity can decrease your life expectancy. Allow the surgeons at Denver Center to Bariatric Surgery to work with you to achieve your weight loss goals today. Contact us to learn more about how to get started.