Understanding Obesity
Catawba Valley Medical Center


Understanding Obesity
What is Obesity?

Obesity is a life-threatening condition that affects one-fourth of the American population, and its prevalence is on the rise. In the past decade, obesity has increased 60%, and is currently contributing to 300,000 deaths each year. This dangerous condition is considered more damaging to your health than smoking and alcohol abuse. Obesity is most often caused by factors that are difficult, if not impossible to control. Common contributors to obesity include energy imbalance, heredity, metabolic disorders, social habits, environmental factors, and psychological disorders.

Are You Morbidly Obese?

Excess weight affects your life and your health. A useful tool for determining if your weight has reached a problematic level is the Body Mass Index (BMI). Use our BMI calculator to determine your BMI. The classification of morbid obesity is given when an individual’s excess weight puts their life at risk.
You are considered morbidly obese if you:

  • Are more than 100 pounds over your ideal weight
  • Have a BMI of 40 or greater

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