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Understanding Obesity

Are you overweight or obese?

  • About two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese
  • Obese individuals have a 10 to 50 percent increased risk of death from weight-related illnesses
  • More than 100,000 people die each year due to weight-related illnesses

Health Effects of Obesity

Obesity is a serious medical condition and a growing epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about one-third of U.S. adults are obese. Obesity can lead to dangerous chronic diseases and medical conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Gallstones
  • GERD/heartburn
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Menstrual problems
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Sleep apnea/breathing problems
  • Stroke
  • Urinary incontinence

Obesity can also limit physical activity, cripple self-esteem, and affect personal and professional relationships, sometimes exposing people to bias and discrimination because of their weight.

Body Mass Index

Body mass index (BMI) is the current standard for determining whether someone is overweight or obese. BMI takes into account your height as well as your weight.

BMI is a rough guide to healthy body weight. Some very muscular people have above-average BMIs even though they're quite healthy. Other people may have normal BMIs even though they have high body fat because they also have very little muscle.

BMI Indicators

  • Acceptable- 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight- 25-29.9
  • Obese- 30-34.9
  • Severely Obese- 35-39.9
  • Morbidly Obese- 40 and above

Check your BMI with the Body Mass Index Calculator.

Are you Morbidly Obese?

People who answer yes to one or more of these questions are likely to be morbidly obese:

  • Are you more than 100 pounds overweight?
  • Do you have a BMI over 40?
  • Do you have a BMI over 35 and health conditions related to your weight, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or severe sleep apnea?
  • Are you unable to reach or maintain a healthy body weight, even with medically supervised dieting?

Morbid obesity is a serious, chronic disease with symptoms that can build slowly over an extended period. If you're obese now, you should be talking to your doctor about how to keep the disease from progressing.

Changing For Good, Changing For Life

If you think you may be severely obese, you owe it to yourself and everyone who cares about you to get treatment. Left untreated, obesity almost always interferes with quality of life, quantity of life, or both.

Contact the Methodist Weight Management Program at 214-947-3699 or