Obesity is defined as a disease in which fat has accumulated to the extent that health is impaired. Morbid Obesity is the most extreme form of this disease. When a person is morbidly obese, their obesity has reached such a point that it is directly and significantly affecting their health.
Previously obesity and morbid obesity were just considered conditions, rather than diseases. In recent years however, health authorities from all over the world including the World Health Organization and the US Federal Department of Health have accepted and classified obesity as a disease. This is good news as it allows more focus to be put into finding a way to cure or treat obesity.
All people have some level of fat in their body, and that is completely normal. For someone to be considered obese or morbidly obese, their level of body fat has to have reached a state where it is causing health complications. One of the most damaging aspects of morbid obesity is that it causes or amplifies other diseases. Morbidly obese people may suffer both psychological and physical hindrances in terms of their quality of life. A morbidly obese person may have trouble functioning effectively in social situations. They may experience lower self-esteem or self-confidence, and this may lead to feelings of isolation or even depression.
Morbidly obese people
may also have difficulty getting too and from work, or even performing certain tasks. Some physical occupations may be completely denied to morbidly obese people, as they may be unable to carry out the job requirements due to physical limitation, or because of illness resulting from obesity. In the year 2000, the US Department of Heath and Human Services estimated that the cost of obesity to the country was $117 billion, comprising direct costs (such as medical expenses, medicine, surgery, etc) and indirect costs (such as missing work due to illness). It has also been estimated that obesity related problems were responsible for 63 million visits to doctors, physicians, and health care professionals during that year.
Obesity may cause or exacerbate many other conditions or diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, arthritis, acid reflux, asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, urinary incontinence, back pain, deep vein thrombosis, and many other diseases.
So how do you find out if you are obese or morbidly obese? The most common measurement used to diagnose obesity or morbid obesity is called the Body Mass Index, or the BMI for short. A person’s BMI is calculated by taking their body weight in and dividing it by their height.
What causes Morbid Obesity?
The most common cause of morbid obesity is an imbalance between a person’s energy intake (i.e. food intake) and their energy output (i.e. exercise and energy used by the body).
The food a person consumes has a direct effect on their chances of becoming obese. Particularly in modern society, the food we eat often has more calories, sugars, fats and carbohydrates than our body requires. Drinks such as sodas, milkshakes etc are full of energy, and if this energy is not used it can be stored as fat. Once the level of fat stored reaches a point where it is having a detrimental effect on a person’s health, then that person may be said to be obese or morbidly obese.
Likewise in modern society there is generally not much necessity to maintain an active lifestyle. Many people have jobs that involve sitting for most of the day at a computer. After work we can grab some fast food, drive our car home, and then spend the evening watching television from our couches. We don’t even have to get up to change the channel as we can just use the remote. This inactive lifestyle doesn’t allow people to burn the calories that they have consumed, and thereby leads to people becoming morbidly obese.
Other factors that can influence a person’s chances of becoming obese include genes, emotional factors such as stress or depression, or certain medications such as corticosteroids, antidepressants or seizure medicines, which can slow a person’s metabolism.
is a disease that you CAN do something about however. There are options for changing your diet. You can adjust your lifestyle to get more exercise. There are also bariatric or weight loss surgery options available to most people, including stomach or gastric banding, gastric sleeves, and other medical options. You should be sure to discuss all your options with your doctor or healthcare professional before you implement any major changes however.