Weight Management Topics

What is Obesity? 

Obesity: Defining a life-threatening disorder that affects one-third of all Americans.1

Obesity is defined as a life-long, progressive, life-threatening, genetically related, and costly disease of excess fat storage.

This disorder is associated with illnesses directly caused or worsened by significant weight. Morbid obesity (or clinically severe obesity) is defined as being over 200% of ideal weight, more than 100 pounds overweight, or a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, at which serious medical conditions occur as a direct result of the obesity.

What causes obesity?

There are several contributing factors to excess weight or obesity. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, these factors including consuming too many calories and not enough physical activity, work and home environmental factors, genetics and certain diseases and medications.2




1 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, McDowell MA, Flegal KM. Obesity among adults in the
United States – no change since 2003—2004. NCHS data brief no 1.
MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2007.

2 Centers of Disease Control and Prevention