Weight Loss: Morbid Obesity

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Definition

Morbid obesity is defined as being 45 kilogram (100 pounds) overweight. This is equivalent to having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40. When body weight approaches this level, the person is at great risk for many serious illnesses. Therefore, it is now universally accepted that morbid obesity is already a disease, and not just a mere variation in body size.

When body weight reaches this level, traditional non-surgical weight loss efforts, such as dieting, exercise and the use of anti-obesity drugs, almost always fail or do not achieve lasting results. For these patients, surgical weight reduction by bariatric surgery is the only realistic option to achieve successful and long-lasting weight control. It has been approved by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the USA as the definitive treatment of morbid obesity.

Health risks

Morbid Obesity, causes many serious illnesses (co-morbidities), including
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High levels of lipids and cholesterol
  • Heart failure and heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Fatty liver, gallstones and gall bladder infection
  • Heartburn or Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Asthma
  • Pain in weight-bearing joints of the back, hips, knees and ankles
  • Blood clots in the leg, which can move to the lungs and cause sudden death
  • Pregnancy complications, including diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia
  • Abnormal menstruation and infertility in women
  • Bladder problem
  • Increased risks for certain cancers
  • Being accident-prone
  • Psychological problems and social difficulties
  • Shortened life-expectancy

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