About Obesity

Obesity, defined as an excess of fat, is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The best measurement of a person's body fat is the body mass index, commonly referred to as BMI. A patient's BMI is used to assign which category of obesity he or she belongs. Depending on one's BMI, one may fall into the categories of overweight (BMI between 25 and 29.9), obese (BMI greater than 30) or morbidly obese (more than 100 pounds overweight).

Obesity can be caused by many different factors. While a lifestyle of overeating and lack of exercise is the most common cause, the factors below can also contribute to obesity:

- Age
- Gender
- Genetics
- Psychological Issues

Morbid obesity is considered the most severe level of obesity. Statistically, those who are obese or morbidly obese may have a shorter life expectancy. Co-morbidities, additional medical conditions caused by obesity, can develop. A sample of common co-morbidities includes Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke and arthritis.