The term “morbid” is defined in Webster’s dictionary as “Not sound and healthful; induced by a diseased or abnormal condition; diseased; sickly; …” Morbid obesity results from the excessive accumulation of fat that exceeds your body’s skeletal and physical standards. Morbid obesity is defined medically as more than 100 pounds greater than the ideal body weight or a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is more than 40 kg/m2.
Morbid obesity is a serious chronic illness and not the result of immorality or gluttony. Research has shown that in many cases a significant, underlying cause of morbid obesity is genetic – you inherit the tendency to gain weight. The combination of a genetic predisposition to gain weight with plentiful and easily accessible processed food has resulted in the obesity epidemic in North America and the world. Here is a list of factors that contribute to the development of morbid obesity:
- Genetic predisposition i.e. you inherit the tendency to be obese.
- The environment i.e. having easy access to plentiful, processed, food and inability or lack of desire for vigorous physical activity.
- Psychosocial issues e.g. abused as child, depression due to taunting which precipitates more eating.
- Eating disorders
- Metabolic disorders e.g. rare medical conditions.
- Drugs e.g. antidepressants or steroids.
- Other unknown conditions
Morbid obesity damages the body by its mechanical, metabolic and physiological adverse effects on normal bodily function. These “co-morbidities” affect nearly every organ in the body in some way, and may become life-threatening and can seriously shorten your life. “Co-morbidities “or Obesity-related health conditions include:
Cardiovascular Diseases (heart and blood vessels)
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Left ventricular hypertrophy
- Venous stasis ulcers, thrombophlebitis
Endocrine (metabolic diseases)
- Insulin resistance
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
Gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary (liver diseases)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Stress urinary incontinence
- Urinary tract infections
Hematopoietic (diseases of the blood)
- Deep venous thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolism
Musculoskeletal (diseases of bones and joints)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Degenerative joint disease
- Plantar fasciitis
Neurologic and psychiatric (diseases of the nervous system and the phyche)
- Pseudotumor cerebri
Obstetric and gynaecologic (diseases of the female reproductive system)
- Foetal abnormalities and infant mortality
- Gestational diabetes
- Infertility (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome POS)
Pulmonary (diseases of the lungs)
- Obesity hypoventilation syndrome
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Pulmonary hypertension