What Is Obesity?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the "Body Mass Index" (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.
- An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
- And adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
|5' 9"||124 lbs or less||Below 18.5||Underweight|
|125 lbs to 168 lbs||18.5 to 24.9||Healthy weight|
|169 lbs to 202 lbs||25.0 to 29.9||Overweight|
|203 lbs or more||30 or higher||Obese|
During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. More than one-third of US adults (37.5%) and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2 - 19 years are obese.
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The underlying causes of severe obesity are not known. There are many factors that contribute to the development of obesity including the genes we inherit. In addition the American diet focuses on "super-sized" meals that are high in carbohydrates and fats. When you combine this with a relatively sedentary lifestyle the result is inevitable weight gain. The good news is that bariatric surgery can dramatically improve if not completely resolve many health conditions.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions with more than 300 million obese people worldwide. Obese adults account for more than 30% of US population. 400,000 Americans die prematurely each year due to obesity-related diseases. This number is increasing so rapidly that it will likely soon replace tobacco and smoking as the number one preventable health problem in the United States.