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Morbid Obesity

Fitness for mind and body.

Medically, the word "morbid" means causing disease or injury. Morbid Obesity is a serious disease process, in which the accumulation of fatty tissue on the body becomes excessive, and interferes with, or injures the other bodily organs, causing serious and life-threatening health problems, which are called co-morbidities.

Morbid Obesity is also called Clinically Severe Obesity, and is recognized by the consensus of medical opinion as a serious problem, a disease process. In most cases, the underlying cause is genetic -- you inherit the tendency to gain weight, and once the problem is established, there is very little that will power can do about it -- any more than a diabetic can control his or her blood sugar by will power.

Morbid defined

Personally, I hate the word "morbid" and find it quite inappropriate as a descriptive term for mankind, yet the medical "experts" use it, so we must, as well.

Numerous scientific studies have established that there is a very powerful genetic predisposition to Morbid Obesity:

Children adopted at birth show no correlation of their body weight with that of their adoptive parents, who feed them, and teach them how to eat. They show an 80 percent correlation of their body weight with their genetic parents, whom they have never even met. Identical twins, with the same genes, show a much higher similarity of body weights, than do fraternal twins, who have different genes.

Certain genetic populations, such as the American Indians of the Southwest, have a very high incidence of severe obesity. They also have a markedly increased incidence of diabetes and heart disease.

How do you know if you are Morbidly Obese?

There are three criteria:

  1. Are you more than 100 lbs over your "ideal body weight"? This is a weight established actuarially, at which you are likely to live the longest, not what you wish you could weigh - which is usually less.
  2. Another alternative criterion is called the Body Mass Index (BMI). If this is greater than 40, surgery should be considered. If it is greater than 35, and is accompanied by serious co-morbidity, surgery may be indicated.
  3. Have you tried dieting, especially medically-supervised dieting, and been unable to achieve a sustained healthy body weight. Everyone knows diets don't work in the morbidly obese, and there has actually never been a scientific study reported which shows that they do, but you should at least have tried it.

What can you do to regain your health?

You could go on another diet. Unfortunately, although diets work for a little while, the effects seldom last, and the answer to Morbid Obesity needs to last a lifetime. There has never been a scientific study which has shown that dietary management is beneficial or effective, in the severely obese.

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