What is obesity, exactly? Obesity means having a body mass index — or BMI — of 30 or more. Your BMI is a number based on the ratio of your height and weight.
People who are obese are at an increased risk for many health problems, including the following:
- Colorectal, breast, endometrial and gallbladder cancers
- Heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
- Unhealthy levels of blood fats (high cholesterol, high triglycerides)
Signs You Should Get Help for Obesity
Your BMI can help you determine if you are in a healthy weight range. Calculate your BMI.
- Underweight: BMI under 18.5
- Normal: 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight: 25 to 29.9
- Obese: 30 or more
- Morbidly obese: 40 or more
If you are overweight or your BMI is in the obese range, it doesn’t mean you are not healthy. However, it does mean you are at a higher risk of developing more serious health problems.
Your risk of developing obesity-related health problems increases if you are morbidly obese.
Abdominal Obesity (Belly Fat)
Abdominal obesity, or belly fat, is excess fat around the midsection. Even if your weight is normal, excess midsection fat puts you at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and triglycerides, heart disease and other problems.
One way to tell if you have abdominal obesity is to measure your waist size. If you are a man, your waist size should be no more than 40 inches. If you are a woman, your waist size should be less than 35 inches.
Obesity Treatment at Rush
We offer a full range of services to help you lose weight, improve your health and live longer:
- Medical weight loss: Doctors, dietitians and psychologists at Rush help you make a plan that will get you to a healthy weight. We tailor that plan — backed by the latest research — to fit in with your lifestyle, job and family obligations.
- Bariatric surgery: Some people who struggle with obesity may be good candidates for bariatric surgery. Our minimally invasive techniques mean faster recovery and less pain after surgery.
Rush Excellence in Obesity Care
- Comprehensive weight management services: Rush offers medical weight loss specialists, behavioral counseling, registered dietitians and a fitness program through a collaboration with Fitness Formula Clubs.
- Experienced bariatric surgeons: Bariatric surgeons at Rush have performed more than 2,000 bariatric procedures. Research suggests that experienced surgeons have better outcomes and lower complication rates.
- Innovative research: Researchers at Rush look at factors that lead to obesity and apply that knowledge to improve treatment plans and your quality of life. Participating in one of our clinical trials might give you access to new treatments before they're widely available.