Downey Fact Sheet 6 – Morbid Obesity

September 27th, 2009 by LHill Leave a reply »

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Fact Sheet Morbid Obesity

Over two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese; one-third are obese. But the obesity crisis in the United States is really the crisis of morbid obesity. It is this group – persons with morbid obesity – who have the most comorbid conditions, the highest health care costs and the greatest likelihood of death.

Morbid obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more (roughly 100 pounds over ideal weight). (The Body Mass Index is a formula in which the weight in kilograms is divided by height in meters squared. A BMI of 30 to 39.9 is regarded as obese; 25-29.9 overweight and 20-24.9 normal weight; a BMI below 20 is considered unhealthy.) The number of Americans with morbid or severe obesity, defined as 100 pounds or more overweight or a BMI of 40, is growing twice as fast as the number of Americans who are overweight or obese.

The prevalence of Americans with a BMI over 50 has increased by 75 percent from 2000 to 2005. This statistic confirms that the heaviest BMI groups have been increasing at the fastest rates for 20 years. (Increases in morbid obesity in the USA: 2000-2005. [Public Health. 2007] – PubMed Result)