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.
Morbid obesity brings with it an increased risk for a shorter life expectancy. For individuals whose weight exceeds twice their ideal body weight (that's about 2-6% of the U.S. population), the risk of an early death is doubled compared to non-obese individuals. The risk of death from diabetes or heart attack is five to seven times greater.
Other health risks include:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High blood pressure/Heart disease
- Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints
- Sleep apnea/Respiratory problems
- Gastroesophageal reflux/Heartburn
- Urinary stress incontinence
- Menstrual irregularities