What is Morbid Obesity?

Morbid obesity is a condition identified by an excess body weight of approximately 45 kilograms (100 pounds) over the ideal weight range. This typically corresponds to a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or above. At this juncture, individuals face a heightened risk of various severe health conditions, making morbid obesity a recognised disease rather than a simple variation in body stature.

Overview of Morbid Obesity

For individuals experiencing such extreme weight levels, conventional non-surgical methods like dieting, exercise, and anti-obesity medications often prove ineffective or fail to deliver enduring results. In these cases, bariatric surgery emerges as the sole viable solution for sustained weight management. This surgical approach has gained acknowledgment from prominent health institutes, including the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the USA, as the fundamental treatment for morbid obesity.

Health Risks Associated with Morbid Obesity

Morbid obesity triggers numerous serious health complications, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension (High blood pressure)
  • Elevated lipid and cholesterol levels
  • Cardiac ailments including heart failure and myocardial infarctions (heart attacks)
  • Cerebrovascular accidents (Strokes)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hepatic conditions like fatty liver, gallstones, and gallbladder infections
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn
  • Asthma
  • Joint pain in weight-bearing areas: back, hips, knees, and ankles
  • Venous thromboembolism (Blood clots) in the legs, potentially causing pulmonary embolism
  • Complications during pregnancy such as diabetes, hypertension, and pre-eclampsia
  • Menstrual irregularities and infertility in women
  • Urinary bladder issues
  • Elevated risk of certain types of cancer
  • Propensity for accidents
  • Psychological distress and social challenges
  • Reduced life expectancy