Quick Facts: Obesity

What is obesity?

Obesity is when you have what is considered an excessive amount of body fat, usually measured by calculating your body mass index (BMI), which factors in your your weight and height.

Obesity increases your risk of serious health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.

What are the symptoms of obesity?

Obesity is when your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. BMI is determined by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.

Because BMI is not a direct measure of body fat, some athletes may have a BMI that falls within the obesity range without actually being obese.

If you are concerned you may be obese, see your doctor. Your medical providers can factor in other indicators, such as waist circumference, to determine your weight status and can make recommendations for managing your weight.

What are the potential complications of obesity?

Two types of complications often associated with obesity are serious health consequences and negative impact on quality of life.

Potential health consequences include:

Being obese has a negative impact on your health as well as your quality of life.  If you are obese, you may struggle with:

  • Being able to participate fully in family or social activities
  • Physical discomfort
  • Sexual problems
  • Disability
  • Depression 
  • Feelings of shame

How can you prevent obesity?

Eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity are the best way to avoid obesity.

What are the treatments for obesity?

The goal of obesity treatment is to reach and maintain a healthy weight, which requires lifestyle changes such as modifying your diet and getting more exercise. It helps to work with a multidisciplinary medical team, including a nutritionist, therapist and physician to help you reach your goals.

Which treatments are right for you depend on your level of obesity, your willingness to actively pursue weight loss and your overall health.

Treatment options may include:

  • Diet modification
  • Exercise and physical activity
  • Behavior change, including counseling and support groups 
  • Prescription weight-loss medications
  • Weight-loss surgery

For those who are severely obese or have related health concerns, weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, can make a difference. Many people who have been unsuccessful using other weight loss methods have lost weight and improved related health conditions with bariatric surgery

What are the rates of obesity in the U.S.?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates in the United States have increased dramatically during the past 20 years. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7 percent) and approximately 12.5 million (17 percent) of children and adolescents ages 2—19 are obese.

What are the rates of obesity in Prince George’s County?

According to the Prince George’s County Health Department, about 36 percent of county adults are obese. 

How does Doctors Community Hospital help people who are obese?

Our Bariatric and Weight Loss Center provides comprehensive support to help you achieve and maintain your ideal weight. We offer:

  • Weight management education
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Behavior modification therapy
  • Weight loss support group

Learn more about our Bariatric and Weight Loss Center.