Are You “Obese”? Learn the Technical Definitions

The terms “overweight” and “obese” often get thrown around interchangeably, but they are medical terms with distinct parameters. If you are unsure which term most accurately describes your body size, I, Dr. Guillermo Alvarez, a leading gastric sleeve surgeon in North America, can provide you with accurate information so that you can make educated decisions about your health and weight.

What Is BMI?
Before getting into classifications, it helps to understand how these classifications are measured. BMI stands for body mass index, which is a calculation used to determine approximate body fat. A patient’s weight (measured in kilograms) is divided by his or her height (measured in meters). The CDC provides a calculator for Americans who wish to type their weight in pounds and height in feet/inches for an easy conversion. Note that this equation is for adults — BMI is measured differently in children and teens.

Since BMI does not directly measure body fat, a BMI score is not considered a formal diagnosis. More appropriately, it can be used to gauge your risks for diseases linked to excess weight such as blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, etc.

What Are the Classifications?
A healthy weight is considered a BMI score of 18.5 to 24.9. Anything below 18.5 is considered underweight. Overweight individuals have a BMI between 25 and 29.9.

A person is deemed “obese” if he or she has a BMI of 30 or more. Obesity is divided into three categories:
• Class 1 obesity (BMI 30 to 35)
• Class 2 obesity (BMI 35 to 40)
• Class 3 obesity (BMI 40+) – This is sometimes known as “severe,” “morbid,” or “high-risk” obesity.

How These Classifications Relate to Gastric Sleeve
The ideal candidate for bariatric surgery is someone who has class 3 obesity. However, many patients who have a BMI between 30 and 40 also qualify, especially if they have other health conditions that could be improved with reduced weight. Although all candidates are evaluated on an individual basis, gastric sleeve is not generally performed on patients who are categorized as overweight.

I prefer to perform surgery on patients who have had excess weight for several years or more and have been unsuccessful at losing weight with diet and exercise alone. To reap the benefits of gastric sleeve, you must be prepared to commit to new eating habits after your surgery.
Do You Meet Many of the Qualifications for Bariatric Surgery?
If you are obese and ready to take back control of your life, book a free consultation with our experts by calling 1-800-381-8115.

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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.