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Healthy Weight

What is Obesity?

Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

There are many reasons why some people have difficulty avoiding obesity. Usually, obesity results from a combination of inherited factors, hormonal imbalances, combined with the environment and personal diet and exercise choices. Obesity is a disease and worldwide health concern caused by many factors, not just diet. Obesity is not due to a lack of willpower. It is a condition that can be treated and managed. Help is available for those who are concerned about their weight.


Obesity is diagnosed by a healthcare provider and is classified as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Nearly 40 percent of Americans have obesity. Body fat is hard to measure directly, so it is often measured by body mass index (BMI). BMI measures weight related to height. It is a common way to measure body fat and is one tool healthcare providers use when talking about weight.


In addition to BMI, doctors will review your health history and history with weight loss and conduct a physical exam or lab tests.


Obesity is a complex disease with many causes and risk factors. Talk with your healthcare provider about your daily habits, medical history, and family medical history to determine the best treatment plan for you.


  • Weight management can be challenging if troubled by stress and other concerns.
  • You need to work on these issues to be successful in your weight management.


  • An imbalance of calories in and calories burned may cause weight gain.
  • Long daily commutes and desk jobs make it harder to get physical activity.
  • Not all communities have safe spaces to run, bike, or walk.
  • Small bouts of increased physical activity throughout the day can be beneficial.


  • Some studies show a link between how much people sleep and how much people weigh.
  • In general, people who do not get enough sleep may weigh more than people who do.


  • Your body has hormones (chemicals in your body that control function and activity of tissues and organs) that help let you know if you are hungry or full.
  • The hormones that signal hunger and fullness do not always work in people with obesity.


  • Genes in your body can determine if you are more likely to have obesity.
  • Having these genes is not a reason to give up on losing weight. Weight loss as small as 5% can improve your overall health.


  • Some prescription medications can cause weight gain of up to several pounds each month.
  • Do not stop taking medications you think might be causing weight gain, but speak with your healthcare provider about other medication options.


  • We are surrounded by television ads, billboards, and images that promote the consumption of foods and beverages that are high in calories and fat.
  • Some neighborhoods have little or no access to fresh, healthy foods.

Surgery for Obesity

Losing weight and keeping it off can be a life-long struggle for some. In certain cases, people are unable to lose the weight necessary to be healthy. If you are struggling, talk to your primary care provider about whether you might be a candidate for surgical weight loss programs.

Adults who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher are candidates for weight loss surgery. Those with a BMI of 35 or higher who also have additional health concerns such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or heart disease, are also candidates for weight loss surgery.

Beebe specializes in advanced medical weight loss procedures, such as gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve). Most patients can go home the next day with minimal pain.

If you are struggling with making the lifestyle changes necessary to succeed at losing weight, bariatric surgery may be an option for you. Beebe Healthcare offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss through our advanced bariatric surgery program to help individuals lose weight and keep it off.

Call Beebe Center for Weight Loss Surgery to set up a consultation.