Morbid Obesity: What is it? Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Complications

It is a health problem in constant growth. As the number of obese and overweight people increases, so does the number of severely or severely obese people.

Morbid obesity is a severe health condition that results from an abnormally high body mass index.

A person with morbid obesity may have difficulty performing daily functions, such as walking and breathing, and has a greater risk of having many serious health problems.

In theory, anyone can morbidly become obese. To gain weight and become morbidly obese, they must consume more calories than their bodies can burn and use—the body stores unnecessary calories as fat.

As more and more calories are consumed, fat reserves become more extensive, leading to obesity or, in the worst case, morbid obesity.

Quick facts about morbid obesity:

  • The condition is characterized by having an extreme amount of excess body fat.
  • A doctor diagnoses you with a physical examination plus some basic questions.
  • For most people, morbid obesity can be prevented and reversed.

What is morbid obesity?

Those morbidly obese are at greater risk of developing severe health problems. Morbid obesity is when a person has extreme amounts of excess body fat and a body mass index or a BMI greater than 35.

The BMI is a scale that helps doctors and other medical professionals determine if a person is within a healthy weight range.


Some doctors also consider that a person is morbidly obese if their BMI does not exceed 35 but weighs more than 100 pounds.

The BMI is broken down as follows:

  • Normal weight: 19.0-24.9.
  • Overweight: 25.0-29.9.
  • Obese Step 1: 30.0-34.9.
  • Obese Step 2: 35.0-39.9.
  • Morbidly obese stage 3: 40.0 or greater.
  • When a person is morbidly obese, they have an increased risk of heart disease, certain diseases, and conditions that directly affect their quality of life.

How is morbid obesity different from obesity?

A person can be obese without being considered morbidly obese. A person who is obese has a BMI of 30 or higher.

An obese person has a greater chance of developing:

  • Diabetes.
  • Behind.
  • Heart disease.
  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis.
  • Some cancers

Morbid obesity occurs when a person reaches a level of obesity that significantly increases the chances of developing one of these conditions. These conditions are often referred to as comorbidities and are responsible for causing disabilities or even death.

Risk factor’s

While almost anyone can suffer from morbid obesity, certain factors put the person at greater risk than others. These include the following:

Genetic factors

Research indicates that people with a family history of obesity or morbid obesity are more likely to become morbidly obese.

Personal habits

The food a person chooses to eat and the level of activity of a person affect whether they are overweight or obese.

Mental factors

Stress and anxiety can cause someone to gain weight, as they can cause the body to produce more cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol leads to the storage of fat and weight gain.

Sleep habits

Lack of sleep may be another factor that contributes to weight gain.

To be a woman

Many women have problems losing weight during pregnancy and are prone to gain weight during menopause.

Certain medical problems

Some medical problems can cause obesity, such as Cushing’s syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome.

Some medications: antidepressants and beta-blockers are just some of the medicines that can cause weight gain.


As adults get older, slowing metabolism and a sedentary but busy lifestyle can make people more likely to gain weight.


The main symptom of morbid obesity is having a BMI of 35 or more and health problems related to obesity, such as diabetes or hypertension. Other symptoms may include:

  • Excessive accumulation of fat around the body.
  • Being easily disturbed.
  • Difficulty in walking.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Diagnosis of Morbid Obesity

Many Americans are obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of the adult population in the United States is obese. In addition, the CDC identifies about 17 percent of all children in the United States. UU As obese.

A doctor may want to know the history of a person’s weight, weight loss efforts, and eating and exercise habits. From there, a doctor is likely to perform one or more tests. A doctor can measure someone’s BMI to determine if they are obese or morbidly obese.

Is BMI accurate?

BMI is not without its drawbacks. The BMI is an estimate and not an accurate measure of body fat. People, especially athletes, can shed a BMI scale and fall into or out of unhealthy ranges, depending on their sport. For example, bodybuilders can have very high body mass indexes while having low body fat.

Percentage of body fat

A doctor can evaluate a person’s body fat percentage and BMI. This can be done with a skin fold test, which uses a bioelectrical impedance or a water or air displacement device. All these tools are used to calculate the percentage of a person’s body that is fat.

Blood test

Finally, a doctor can order blood tests to help rule out potentially dangerous causes of excess weight, such as medication side effects. The blood test also verifies related health problems that many people with morbid obesity may have.

Complications of Morbid Obesity

When a person is morbidly obese, they have an increased risk of developing other diseases and conditions. These related conditions can be debilitating or even deadly and include:

  • Heart disease.
  • Abnormal lipid counts.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Reproductive problems
  • Osteoarthritis .
  • Hypoventilation syndrome due to obesity.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Gallstones .
  • Certain cancers.
  • Metabolic syndrome.