What Is Morbid Obesity?

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 comorbidities. These comorbidities are conditions or diseases that result in either 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 having a Body Mass Index of 40 or higher.

Bariatric surgery is currently the only modality that provides a significant, sustained weight loss for the patient who is morbidly obese, with resulting improvement in obesity-related comorbidities.