Facts About Obesity

Obesity Facts

Obesity is a complex disease, and people affected by obesity often struggle to find a weight loss solution that works for them. There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about obesity, so it can be helpful to consult a doctor who specializes in obesity treatment. Dr. Rachel L. Moore and Dr. Michael J. Thomas are experienced bariatric surgeons and obesity medicine specialists who are recognized as obesity treatment experts in both the United States and internationally.

What Is Obesity?

Obesity is a condition characterized by excess body fat. Medical professionals use a patient’s Body Mass Index, or BMI, to diagnose obesity. BMI is based on height and weight, and a BMI over 30 is typically indicative of obesity. In America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 93 million people, or almost 40% of the U.S. population, are affected by obesity.

BMI Calculator


BMI < 20 underweight
BMI 20-24.9 healthy weight
BMI 25-29.9 overweight
BMI 30-34.9 obesity
BMI 35-39.9 severe obesity
BMI 40-49.9 morbid obesity
BMI > 50 super morbid obesity

What Causes Obesity?

There is not one single cause of obesity, but rather a variety of circumstances and elements that contribute. Most people with obesity recognize that several factors are at the root of their condition. Causes of obesity can include:

  • Diet Eating more calories than your body needs can lead to obesity. Diets that are high in sugar and highly processed foods may contribute more significantly to obesity.
  • Physical Activity Level A sedentary lifestyle, or lack of physical activity, can contribute to obesity as well as other health deficiencies.
  • Genetics Although lifestyle choices are often the strongest contributors to obesity, genetics can play a role too. While researchers are still exploring the genetic components of obesity, studies estimate that up to 10% of obesity may caused by genetics.
  • Environment Familial or regional eating habits, as well as lack of community support, access to fresh food, or physical activity opportunities can contribute to obesity.
  • Medical Conditions and Medications Some diseases, including polycystic ovary syndrome and leptin resistance, as well as some prescription medications, such as antidepressants, may cause weight gain.

What Are the Health Effects of Obesity?

On its own, obesity can disrupt quality of life, as people with obesity may face social stigma, lower self-esteem, and an impaired ability to participate in physical activities. Obesity also often correlates with a range of life-threatening conditions and diseases. The negative health conditions that often occur with obesity are called co-morbidities, and they include:

  • Cancer, especially of the colon, kidney, gallbladder, breast, and liver
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Infertility
  • Gout
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Acid Reflux
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Stroke

How Can I Prevent Obesity?

  • Adjust and Monitor Your Diet Plan meals that are centered around lean protein and vegetables and eliminate fast food, fried food, and added sugars. Check our blog for healthy recipes and meal planning tips. Stay on track by recording your nutrient intake in a journal or an online platform like Virtual Health Partners.
  • Stay Hydrated Sufficient water intake can help control appetite, improve energy levels, and studies show that it can even increase metabolism. Carry a portable water bottle to stay hydrated on the go and limit soda, juice, alcohol, and other beverages that contain empty calories.
  • Commit to Physical Activity Staying active has many physical benefits and can help people manage stress. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults perform strength training 2 days per week as well as at least 150 minutes per week of aerobic activity. Find activities that you enjoy and track your progress because consistency is key to fitness.
  • Build Community Find friends or family members to share in your workouts and healthy meal planning. The support and accountability of a community can help you achieve your health goals. Online support can be valuable too, so check out the Moore Metabolics Facebook for tips, recipes, and motivation.

Medical Treatment for Obesity

When it is time to consult a doctor for treatment of obesity? If you are concerned that obesity is affecting your health, and you’ve struggled to lose weight or maintain weight loss on your own, you may benefit from the guidance of an experienced bariatric specialist. In the United States over 20 million people may be candidates for bariatric surgery, but fewer than 1% of them have weight loss surgery. There are a range of non-surgical procedures and bariatric surgeries that can cure obesity. At Moore Metabolics, our bariatric surgeons take into account each patient’s medical history, lifestyle, and health goals to create a personalized treatment plan. Treatment options include:

Contact Moore Metabolics for Obesity Treatment in New Orleans

Dr. Moore and Dr. Thomas have helped many patients find weight loss success in order to live healthier and happier lives. If you are struggling with an obesity diagnosis or looking for more information on obesity solutions, we can help. Contact us for a free insurance check or to schedule a consultation.

1 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db288.pdf
2 Genetics of Obesity: What have we Learned?, Current Genomics 2011 May; 12(3): 169–179. doi: [10.2174/138920211795677895]
4 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003 Dec;88(12):6015-9

The Doctors at Moore Metabolics have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.