About Obesity

Risks Associated with Obesity

Scientists are beginning to understand that obesity is a complex, chronic and debilitating disease. It does not result from lack of will power but from a combination of genetic, cultural,environmental and psychological factors. Obesity, in addition to taking a considerable psychological and social toll, can lead to serious medical problems such as:

  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Gynecological issues
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Mental health issues
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Cancer (breast, colon,rectum, endometrial,kidney)

The more excess weight you carry, the greater your risk for these and other complications. Obesity treatment is a vital step in enhancing your health and quality of life.

Defining Obesity

Physicians use the body mass index (BMI) to compare weight to height, measure body fat, and diagnose obesity and its severity. BMI differs depending on height and gender, but the healthy range is 18.5-24.9 (kg/m2). A BMI above this range is an indication you would benefit from weight loss.

CALCULATE YOUR BMI: A BMI above 30 may qualify you for bariatric surgery at Augusta University Obesity & Metabolism.

Your waist size can also help determine obesity. A normal waist size is less than 40 inches for men and less than 35 inches for women.

Your own good judgment is another gauge of your weight. Do excess pounds impede your mobility? Limit your activities? Affect your self-esteem?

Because patients with a body mass index of 40 or higher experience significant health complications and are at higher risk for potentially life-threatening chronic disease, they are considered “morbidly” obese. Physicians may also call this “medically severe” obesity. These patients are generally 100 pounds or more over their ideal body weight and bariatric surgery becomes an option for weight loss at a BMI of approximately 35 to 40, depending on the presence of related diseases. 

If any or all of these indicators reflect your need for weight loss, you’re probably well aware of how hard it is to lose weight—and keep it off—through diet and exercise. Most people who lose weight non-surgically regain it within 12 months.

Weight Loss Surgery May be the Answer

Many studies have shown weight loss surgery is a safe and effective way to lose weight, keep it off, improve/reverse weight-related diseases and reap psychological, social and economic benefits.