What is Obesity
Overweight and obesity together represent the second leading preventable
cause of death in the United States.
Obesity is a serious, chronic disease that can inflict substantial harm
to a person’s health.
Overweight and obesity are not the same; rather, they are
different points on a continuum of weight ranging from being
underweight to being morbidly obese. The percentage of people
who fit into these two categories, overweight and obese, is
determined by Body Mass Index (BMI).
In adults, a BMI from 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal while a
BMI of more than 25 is considered overweight. A person is
considered obese if the BMI is greater than 30 and morbidly
obese if the BMI is 40 or greater.
Factors which may influence the occurrence of obesity include, but are
not limited to:
Genetics. Studies have shown that a
predisposition toward obesity can be inherited. Although
researchers have identified several genes that appear to be
associated with obesity, most believe that one gene is not
responsible for the entire obesity epidemic. The majority of
current and future research aims to better understand the
interaction between these gene variations and our ever-changing
environment in the development of obesity.
Metabolic factors. How a particular person
expends energy is different from how someone else's body uses
energy. Both metabolic and hormonal factors are not the same for
everyone, but these factors play a role in determining weight
gain. Recent studies show that levels of ghrelin, a peptide
hormone known to regulate appetite, and other peptides in the
stomach, play a role in triggering hunger and producing a
feeling of fullness (satiety).
Socioeconomic factors. There is a strong
relationship between economic status and obesity, especially
among women. Women who are poor and of lower social status are
more likely to be obese than women of higher socioeconomic
status. The occurrence of obesity is also highest among minority
groups, especially among women.
Lifestyle choices. Overeating, along with a
sedentary lifestyle, contributes to obesity. These are lifestyle
choices that can be affected by behavior change.
The health effects of obesity
Obesity has a far-ranging negative effect on health. Each year
obesity-related conditions cost over 100 billion dollars and cause
premature deaths in the US. The health effects associated with obesity
include, but are not limited to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart
disease, joint problems, including osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and
respiratory problems, cancer, metabolic syndrome and various
General Bariatric Surgery Information:
Port Huron Hospital HealthAccess
1.800.228.1484 (Michigan Callers)
Bariatric Center of Michigan
Wismer 3rd Floor Clinic
1221 Pine Grove Avenue
Port Huron, MI 48060