According to the CDC, obesity is among the most common chronic diseases in country, affecting more than one in every three adults and one in every six children. Beyond increased weight, this condition can have a lasting impact on patients’ overall health and wellbeing.
Obesity is the presence of excess fat, or adipose tissue. As a collection of endocrine cells, adipose tissue produces important fatty acids and coagulation factors that help the body function correctly. When too much adipose tissue is present, however, levels of fatty acids drastically increase, leading to inflammation and insulin resistance, which spur on the development of secondary health issues.
There are three distinct classifications of obesity. These are defined by calculating an individual’s body mass index. Also known as BMI, this measurement uses an individual’s height and weight to estimate body fat – the higher the number, the greater the risk of developing obesity-related health issues.
The BMI classifications used to identify obesity are:
Overweight, but not obese – BMI of 25.0 to 29.9
Class 1 or Low-Risk Obesity – BMI of 30.0 to 34.9
Class 2 or Moderate-Risk Obesity – BMI of 35.0 to 39.9
Class 3 or High-Risk Obesity – BMI equal to or greater than 40.0
A healthy BMI varies from patient-to-patient. As a result, associating obesity simply with weight does not necessarily provide patients with an accurate understanding of their true health. Your doctor can provide a more comprehensive BMI analysis for those who are concerned about their weight.
Risk Factors for Obesity
While overeating and lack of exercise are certainly contributing factors to excessive weight gain, obesity is a complex chronic condition that is caused by a number of external and hereditary factors. Age, race, and family history are just some of the genetic influences that can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing obesity. Likewise, environment and behavior that favors a more sedentary versus active lifestyle as well as drug or alcohol abuse can contribute to the development of obesity.
Health Risks Associated with Obesity
The presence of extra adipose tissue has a lasting negative impact on patients’ overall health, damaging other systems in the body and leaving obese individuals at risk of developing other serious diseases. Consequences of untreated obesity include:
- Hypertension, or High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Heart Attack and Strike
- Sleep Apnea and Breathing Problems
- Clinical Depression, Anxiety, and other Mental Disorders
- Endometrial, Breast, Colon, Kidney, Gallbladder, or Liver Cancer
Obesity also lowers a patient’s quality of life and increases their risk of mortality. With these consequences in mind, seeking treatment as soon as possible is critical to taking back control of your life.
Learn More about Your Weight Loss Options – Visit MVSA
At Murrieta Valley Surgical Associates, bariatric surgeon Dr. Francis Essien and his team are committed to helping patients overcome obesity and achieve a healthier lifestyle. From nutritional counseling to weight loss surgery, our Temecula bariatric team is by your side during every step of your weight loss journey. Visit MVSA in Temecula today.