What is obesity?
Contrary to popular belief, obesity is a chronic disease not
a voluntary condition! Basically, it is an abnormal increase in
the size and number of fat cells in the body.
How do I know if I am obese?
You need to know your Body Mass Index (BMI). The World Health
Organization and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
recommend a uniform classification for weight utilizing the Body
Mass Index (BMI). An individual with a BMI greater than or equal
to 25 is overweight while an individual with a BMI greater than
or equal to 30 is obese.
How is my BMI determined?
The BMI is calculated in the US system by dividing an individual's
weight in pounds by his/her height in inches squared and multiplying
that number by 703. If you don’t want to do the math, for
your convenience, a BMI calculator is located on this website.
What are the risks of being obese?
Obese and overweight individuals are at risk for a variety of
serious health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease,
hypertension, osteoarthritis, certain cancers, depression, gall
bladder disease, sleep apnea and the metabolic syndrome, among
others. It has been said that obesity is the second most common
cause of preventable deaths in the United States. It is estimated
that annually 100,000-300,000 deaths occur because of obesity.
Fortunately, many of these risks can be reduced or avoided entirely
by weight reduction. Indeed, for some individuals who have already
developed one or more of these conditions weight loss can improve
or in some cases, even eliminate them.
Can obesity be treated?
Yes! First and foremost the patient must be truly ready and motivated
to lose weight! Goals must be established for weight loss appropriate
to the individual and an analysis of current diet and activity
must be performed. The keys to successful weight loss are motivation,
support, dietary adjustments,
and regular physical exercise. In certain cases, weight loss medications
are valuable treatment options to you while in others, bariatric
surgery is the appropriate course to follow. As with all serious
medical problems, care should be provided by a physician.
I want to lose weight! How do I get started?
Before beginning a weight loss program it is wise to see a physician
knowledgeable in weight loss techniques for advice as well as
a thorough health and physical evaluation. This evaluation should
include an accurate determination of your BMI, body fat percentage
as well as lean body percentage (muscle, bone and fluid). Appropriate
laboratory tests should be performed as well as an analysis of
current dietary patterns and physical activities. With this information
you and your physician will be able to develop realistic treatment
goals and a plan through which the goals can be realized. Equally
important is the development of and adherence to a weight maintenance
program once the goals have been met. Obesity, like many other
diseases is a chronic condition which requires ongoing vigilance
and commitment on the part of the patient. Although achieving
appropriate weight loss goals is frequently frustrating, it can