Bariatric and Weight Loss Surgery in Rhode Island
Lifespan Weight Loss Services

What Is Obesity?

Obesity is a life-long, progressive, life-threatening condition marked by excess body fat, which can significantly reduce life expectancy. When weight increases to an extreme level, it is called morbid obesity, and is a chronic condition with numerous medical, psychological, social and economic consequences.

Morbid obesity is diagnosed when a person is over 200 percent of his or her ideal weight, more than 100 pounds overweight, or with a body mass index (BMI)* greater than 40, or greater than 35 with weight-related health problems.

Health problems associated with morbid obesity include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, sleep apnea, arthritis, depression, stress incontinence, menstrual irregularity, and some types of cancer.

Weight loss can greatly reduce these risks, improve overall health, and enhance quality of life.

Rose’s Journey to a Healthier Life

Rose struggled with her weight from childhood. Follow her journey.

Health Risks of Morbid Obesity

In general, there are many health risks caused by morbid obesity. Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher; obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher. Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as "overweight" and "obesity," the risks for following conditions also increases:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
  • Reproductive disorders (obese women have trouble having children and obese men have reduced sperm counts)
  • Blood clots in the legs and clots to the lungs
  • Varicose veins and swollen legs
  • Respiratory problems, including difficulty breathing with small amounts of exertion and walking
  • Fat accumulation in the liver and cirrhosis
  • Some forms of cancer, particularly cancer of the uterus, breast, prostate, colon and gallbladder

Regain control over your life and health. Learn more about the weight loss services we provide at the Center for Bariatric Surgery.