Obesity: A Disease

Obesity: Know the Facts

Obesity is emerging as a health epidemic around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is rapidly spreading across all regions and demographic groups. The prevalence of obesity has increased more than 60% in the past decade. A quarter of the U.S. population is obese and another 97 million Americans are overweight or at risk of becoming obese.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Obesity is an excess of total body fat, which results from caloric intake that exceeds energy usage. A measurement used to assess health risks* of obesity is Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing body weight (lbs.) by height in inches squared (in2) and multiplying that amount by 703. The metric calculation for BMI is kg/m2.

Click here to calculate your BMI 

*Health risk mentioned here includes disease risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. The BMI classification and health risk information above are based on Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults published by National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, in 1998.

Morbid Obesity

A person who generally weighs at least twice or 100 pounds more than his or her ideal weight or has a BMI of 40 or more is diagnosed as morbidly obese. The National Institutes of Health report that morbid obesity may considerably reduce life expectancy and is associated with an increased risk of developing conditions or diseases such as: 

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Joint Problems
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Cancer
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Respiratory Problems