What is Morbid Obesity?
An individual is categorically considered as suffering from morbid obesity if they are 100 lbs. overweight from their ideal body weight or having the body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. As the name suggests, morbid Obesity is indeed a “morbid” condition of being extremely overweight. Such condition does not only entail health consequences but negative social, psychological and economic effects as well. Obesity is regarded as morbid when it reaches the point in which it significantly increases the risks of an individual in acquiring one or more obesity-related diseases, otherwise known as co-morbidities, which can result to physical disabilities or death.
Otherwise known as class 3 obesity or clinically severe obesity, morbid obesity is a chronic disease of excess adipose tissues or body fat which adversely affects an individual’s general health, mobility and quality of life. The National Institutes of Health Consensus categorizes obesity as a serious disease, and advocates those afflicted with the condition to regard it as such.
Morbid obesity is a chronic disease in which its symptoms are gradually aggravated over an extended period of time. The underlying causes of morbid obesity remain complex and varied. Experts have cited genetic history, lifestyle and eating habits during childhood and adolescence, medication usage, mood or depression, calorie intake and degree of physical activity, psychosocial, socioeconomic and cultural factors to be contributing to morbid obesity.
As much as there are clearly identifiable causes and contributory risk factors to this condition, experts remain unable to ascertain the relative importance of these risk factors in the increasingly alarming obesity epidemic. Individuals suffering from obesity are posed at significantly high risks for developing diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, muscolo-skeletal disorders and some cancers. A doubled risk of early death if an individual’s body weight is more than twice the ideal, 5-7 times greater risk of death from heart attack or diabetes and high risk of untreatable or end stage obesity are some of the general health threats of obesity.
Standard and conventional weight loss measures such as dieting and exercise may be ineffective in treating morbid obesity as this condition of being extremely overweight is regarded as chronic. As mobility is affected, a morbidly obese person may be unable to adhere to a regular exercise regimen nor resort to weight loss diets as they will only lead to further complications as the patient will have the tendency to gain the weight back after a few months. In some cases, morbid obesity can be addressed by a low-calorie diet and exercise treatments used in conjunction with medications. This may further be complemented with exercise counseling.
If obesity becomes unmanageable, the patient may then be qualified for bariatric surgical procedures such as Lap Band, Roux-en-Y Gastric bypass and Lap Band adjustable gastric banding. Those suffering from morbid obesity run the risk of dying prematurely due to their weight. A premature death of 13 to 20 years is expected for those with morbid obesity unless measures are taken to remedy the condition.
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