Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat. A person is considered to be obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight. The most common measure of obesity is body mass index, also known as BMI, which helps classify a person of being overweight, obese, or morbidly obese considering the person's height and weight.
Morbid Obesity means that a person is either 50%-100% over normal weight, more than 100 pounds over normal weight, has a BMI of 40 or higher, or is sufficiently overweight to severely interfere with health or normal function. Those who are morbidly obese are at greater risk for illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gallstones, osteoarthritis, heart disease, infertility, and cancer.
When to Seek Help for Obesity
You should consult a doctor if you are having emotional or psychological issues related to your obesity, need help losing weight, or if you fall into either of the following categories.
- If your BMI is 30 or greater, you're considered obese. You should talk to your doctor about losing weight since you are at high risk of having health problems.
- If you have a medical condition or a eating disorder
- If you have an "apple shape" -- a so-called, "potbelly" or "spare tire" -- you carry more fat in and around your abdominal organs. Fat deposited primarily around your middle increases your risk of many of the serious conditions associated with obesity. Women's waist measurement should fall below 35 inches. Men's should be less than 40 inches. If you have a large waist circumference, talk to your doctor about how you can lose weight.
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