risks of obesity
Morbid obesity is a serious medical condition. If you are morbidly obese, it means that you are severely overweight, usually by at least 100 pounds. It also means that you have excessive amounts of body fat compared to healthy standards.
Knowing whether or not you are morbidly obese is important. This condition puts you at very high risk for a host of serious medical problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Being morbidly obese also may hamper your mobility, expose you to possible discrimination or social stigma and may lower your self-esteem.
If you are morbidly obese, you should remember three important points:
- Morbid obesity is not a sign of weakness, laziness or gluttony. It is a serious medical condition with serious medical consequences. Current research suggests that many factors work together to influence your weight. These include your family history, eating habits as a child and adult, hormones and psychological factors.
- You are not alone. Approximately 66 percent of Americans are considered overweight, about 32 percent are considered obese, and about four percent are considered morbidly obese according to the Centers for Disease Control.
- There is hope. Resources are available to help you avoid the medical consequences of morbid obesity.
If you are morbidly obese, you have a much greater risk of developing a variety of serious obesity-related medical conditions compared to individuals who are not obese. You also may develop health problems at a younger age. These include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease/Angina/Congestive heart failure
- Sleep apnea
- Back and joint pain
- Pregnancy complications, including diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and C-section delivery
- Menstrual irregularity and infertility in women
- Bladder problems
- Kidney stones
- Liver disease
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Poor heat tolerance
- Complications and infections after surgery
- Skin infections
- Depression and eating disorders
- Endometrial, breast, prostate, kidney, esophageal and colon cancers
- Family history of any of the above
Morbid obesity is second only to cigarette smoking as a leading cause of preventable death. Your doctor can discuss smoking cessation program options with you prior to surgery, if necessary.