What is Obesity?
Overweight, obesity and morbid obesity result from the excessive accumulation of fat that exceeds the body's skeletal and physical standards. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase in 20 percent or more above your ideal body weight is the point at which excess weight becomes a health risk. Body Mass Index (BMI), a number calculated from a person’s weight and height, can reflect a person’s level of body fat. The formula for calculating BMI is a person’s weight (in pounds) divided by their height (in inches)² x 704. Using BMI, overweight is defined as 25-30, obesity is 30-40 and morbid obesity is BMI over 40.
Obesity becomes "morbid" when it reaches the point of significantly increasing the risk of one or more obesity-related health conditions or serious diseases (also known as co-morbidities) that result either in significant physical disability or even death. According to the National Institutes of Health, an increase in body weight of 20 percent or more above desirable weight is the point at which excess weight becomes an established health hazard.
As you read about morbid obesity you may also see the term "clinically severe obesity" used. Both are descriptions of the same condition and can be used interchangeably. Morbid obesity is typically defined as being 100 lbs. or more over ideal body weight or having a Body Mass Index of 40 or higher. According to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Report, morbid obesity is a serious disease and must be treated as such. It is a chronic disease, meaning that its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time.