There is a difference between being obese and morbidly obese. Obesity, in terms of body mass index (BMI), means a value of more than 30 and having too much body fat. If you are obese, you carry the risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. Morbid obesity, on the other hand, is being severely obese. Already, the medical costs of treating obesity have crossed 150 billion!
When Obesity becomes “morbid”
One gets morbidly obese when it reaches a point, where the risks of serious diseases and obesity-related health conditions get significantly higher. It is a serious health condition that interferes with the basic physical and bodily functions. Normal BMI ranges from 20-25, and a BMI of 40 or more means one is morbidly obese.
Causes and symptoms
It is not difficult to understand as to why a person becomes obese or morbidly obese. His or her body is simply getting more calories than it can spend and all those excess calories are getting stored as fat in different parts of the body. However, there might be a number of complex factors that can make a person morbidly obese. Genetic factors do influence the body and its appetite. Still, a person can control his obesity with lifestyle changes and keep his weight in check even if he has a genetic predisposition to weight gain. Recent studies show that it is the amount of fat consumed by a person that has more impact on weight.
Carbohydrates such as fruits, cereals, bread, and vegetables and protein get changed to fuel once they enter the body. Most fat calories get stored in fat cells right away, and they add to the body’s weight. A sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to weight gain. At what stage a person becomes obese can impact his ability to lose. For example, if a child consumes excessive calories, those get converted to new fat cells and all those extra calories taken in in adulthood, find a place to settle in in those new fat cells that were made during childhood. Exercise and dieting can only help reduce the size of those cells but cannot eliminate them. This is why obese children often have to struggle with obesity in adulthood.
Treatment of morbid obesity
Treatment of morbid obesity will rely on the age, gender and overall health of the person. The treatment should encourage life-long behavioral changes, or the obesity will keep coming back. Crash diets and short-term weight loss should not be the motive here. There should be a behavior-focused treatment that keeps an eye on how much a person eats, how he responds to certain foods and how much does he exercise. It will help to maintain a food diary so as to develop a better understanding of the foods and their nutritional value as well as fat content. One may have to change their lifestyle drastically and their grocery-shopping habits.
Making concerted and regular efforts can certainly help an individual and keep him away from becoming obsessed or morbidly obese.