What is Obesity?
Obesity is a life-long progressive, life threatening condition marked by the excess accumulation of body fat, which can significantly reduce life expectancy.
When weight reaches extreme levels, it is called MORBID OBESITY and is a chronic condition with numerous medical, psychological and social consequences.
Finding out if you are obese is simple : you calculate your Body Mass Index or BMI:
Obesity is also defined by waist size – over 90 cm in males and over 80 cm in females.
There are various categories of obesity, but the most severe kind is morbid obesity. A morbidly obese patient is typically 45 kg (100 lb) overweight, or has a BMI of 40 or higher. Morbid obesity drastically increases your chances of developing obesity related co-morbidities.
How can Obesity affect you?
Obesity is rarely just a physiological problem. This disorder has far reaching effects; physiological, psychological and social. On the physical front, obesity can lead to several complications that could be fatal or incapacitating if left untreated. Some of the most common diseases that are directly and indirectly linked to obesity are:
- Type II Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- Liver and kidney disorders
- Joint Pain/Osteoarthritis/Gout
- Respiratory disorders
- Gastro-esophageal reflux disease
- Certain cancers
- Depression and anxiety disorders
- Sleep Apnea
I’ve heard about “sleep studies.” What are they all about?
Obstructive sleep apnea and obesity hypoventilation syndrome are among the most dangerous complications of severe obesity. Patients with symptoms of these disorders, such as snoring, day time sleepiness, and observed periods in which they stop breathing, should have a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea.
I feel so guilty about being obese…Is it all my fault?
No. Obesity tends to run in families. Identification of several genes and their corresponding hormones (leptin) has been found to be at least partially responsible for obesity. Therefore, there is evidence that obesity is at least partially biological, helping to change the misconception that it is a behavioural or psychological disorder. Obesity should be considered as a disease that needs a cure, rather than a moral failing that is the fault of the individual. Also once above a certain weight it is almost impossible for a person to comply with the weight and exercise regimen required to reduce and maintain weight loss. An obese patient can understand this difficulty better.