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Patient Information

About Obesity

Obesity refers to the excess in body fat.

While that may seem like a simple explanation, this medical condition can cause a number of complex problems. Obesity is considered a disease. And living with obesity raises serious health concerns and puts you at a higher risk of certain other diseases.

A major cause for concern

Today, obesity is an intensifying problem in America, affecting 1 in 3 adults according to the National Institutes of Health. The Mcallen-Mission-Edinburg metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has been reported to be the most obese MSA in the state of Texas, according to a 2014 article by PolitiFact. There are dozens of medical conditions associated with obesity. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, people who are obese or morbidly obese risk developing:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon)

Assessing obesity

Whether you are overweight or obese, excess weight gain can cause a sharp decline in your health. The difference is in the treatment you receive to lose weight, and those considered overweight may not qualify for weight-loss surgery. Measuring your weight status can give you some insight into the kinds of treatment available to you.

Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Circumference are two common methods of measuring obesity.

BMI

You can calculate your BMI by taking your weight and dividing it by your height in inches squared. Then you multiply that by 703. For example, if you weigh 250 pounds and are 6’ 0” your formula would look like this:

BMI = (250/ 72^2) x 703
BMI = 33.90

You can also use this simple BMI calculator — enter your weight and height to calculate your BMI:

BMI Calculator
Unit System
Measurements
lbs.
ft.
in.
BMI > 18.5
UNDERWEIGHT
18.5 - 24.9
HEALTHY
25 - 29.9
OVERWEIGHT
30 < BMI
OBESE

If your BMI is greater than 25, we recommend talking to your doctor about the ways you can reduce weight gain.

Waist circumference

This is a simpler, but less precise, way of measuring obesity. It involves wrapping a tape measure around your body in the area above your hips but below the rib cage. The belly button is a good starting place.

There are two classes for waist size: healthy and unhealthy. It’s unhealthy for women to have a waist size of 35 inches or more. For men, it’s unhealthy to have a waist size of 40 inches or more.

Achieve weight-loss success

No matter what path to treatment you take, losing weight takes dedication and sacrifice. Those who’ve found weight-loss success will tell you how living a healthier lifestyle is worth it. With weight-loss surgery, the experienced surgeons at the Valley Care Clinics can put you in a physical state where diet and exercise makes a bigger difference. Talk to our team today about your weight-loss options.