An accredited Bariatric Surgery Center

What is Obesity

Obesity Overview

Overweight and obesity together represent the second leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

Calculate your BMI 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 psychosocial effects. 

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General Bariatric Surgery Information:

Port Huron Hospital HealthAccess
Email HealthAccess
1.800.228.1484 (Michigan Callers)
1.810.989.3199

Bariatric Center of Michigan
Wismer 3rd Floor Clinic
1221 Pine Grove Avenue
Port Huron, MI 48060
810.989.3328