Obesity results from the excessive accumulation of fat that exceeds the body's skeletal and physical standards. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase in 20 percent or
more above your ideal body weight is the point at which excess weight becomes a health risk. Today 97 million Americans, more than one-third of the adult population, are overweight or obese. An
estimated 5 to 10 million of those are considered morbidly obese.
Obesity becomes "morbid" when it reaches the point of significantly increasing the risk of one or more obesity-related health conditions or serious diseases (also known as co-morbidities) that
result either in significant physical disability or even death. As you read about morbid obesity you may also see the term "clinically severe obesity" used. Both are descriptions of the same
condition and can be used interchangeably.
Morbid obesity is typically defined as being 100 lbs. or more over ideal body weight or having a Body Mass Index of 40 or higher. According to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Report,
morbid obesity is a serious disease and must be treated as such. It is a chronic disease, meaning that its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time.