What Is Meant by Morbid Obesity?

In the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination data (NHANES 2018), some truly eye-opening statistics were reported regarding the prevalence of obesity among Americans. Did you know that 31% of adults in the United States are currently struggling with being overweight? This statistic represents one in three adults. A staggering 43% of adults are classified as obese, and 10% of adults in America are classified as morbidly obese.

This crisis is impacting adults and children alike, as NHANES data also reported that over 16% of American children and teenagers are classified as being overweight, and 19% of children between the ages of two and nineteen are currently grappling with obesity.

In the past two decades, adult obesity rates have risen by at least 37%, and the rate of obesity in children has increased by a whopping 42%. These alarming statistics shed light on the pressing issue at hand, highlighting the urgent need for awareness and action to combat this severe form of obesity. Currently, over 10% of the entire population is suffering from morbid obesity, also known as class III obesity.

In this article, we will look at the definition of morbid obesity and the challenges it brings to the individuals it affects. We will touch on the ICD-10 codes for morbid obesity as well as outline the morbid obesity BMI range. Then we will look at some safe and effective tools and strategies that can be used to help address morbid obesity.

What Is Morbid Obesity?

Morbid obesity is an older term formerly used in the medical world and has been replaced by the term “class III obesity. It refers to a state where an individual’s body fat percentage reaches such high levels that it begins to contribute to the development of various associated health issues. When a person achieves class III obesity (meaning morbid obesity), they run the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other dangerous illnesses like heart disease and stroke.

Morbid Obesity BMI RangeOne of the most widely recognized tools used by industry professionals to assess a person’s total body fat level is the Body Mass Index (BMI) scale. The body mass index (BMI) scale is a tool that has been used for almost 200 years that help determine a person’s “health” classification based on their height and weight. It provides a fast and inexpensive benchmark of weight ranges that correspond to different categories, allowing medical professionals, medical insurance companies, and other interested parties to assess an individual’s overall health and make informed decisions related to their health and well-being.

Calculating your BMI has never been simpler than with our convenient BMI Calculation tool. Simply click on the provided link, enter your height and weight, and you will know where you fall on the BMI spectrum. The range of classifications runs from underweight to varied obesity levels, including morbid obesity and super obesity. A BMI between 40 and 49.9 indicates morbid obesity.

Here is a look at a detailed BMI chart.

BMI Chart
Category BMI range
Underweight under 18.5
Healthy 18.5-24.9
Overweight 25-29.9
Obesity Class II 35-39.9
Obesity Class III (Morbid Obesity) 40-49.9
Obesity Class IV (Super Obese) 50 or over
Obesity Class I 30-34.9

ICD-10 codes for morbid obesityThis coding technique was put into place in 2015 to comply with HIPAA guidelines and was created to provide specific details when identifying types of morbidities for a disease or medical condition being experienced by an individual. The National Center for Health Statistics frequently updates this list of widely used identifying codes known as the International Classification of Diseases, or ICD-10-CM. These codes have been translated into 43 languages and are used by a diverse range of professionals, including physicians, nurses, other healthcare practitioners, researchers, health information managers, insurers, and more, to ensure compliance and continuity.

  • E66 is the general category for overweight and obesity. There are additional digits added that can further detail the individual’s condition;
  • E66.0 Obesity caused by consuming too many calories;
  • E66.01 Morbid obesity caused by consuming too many calories;
  • E66.09 Other obesity due to consuming too many calories;
  • E66.1 Obesity that was drug-induced;
  • E66.2 Morbid obesity is a rare disorder in which a person does not take enough breaths per minute;
  • E66.3 Overweight;
  • E66.8 Obesity (otherwise);
  • E66.9 Unspecified Obesity.

Does Morbid Obesity Mean Different Concerns For Men And Women?

In terms of health implications, morbid obesity poses similar risks for both men and women, including a higher likelihood of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and joint problems. However, individual responses to obesity-related health risks can still differ based on genetics, lifestyle, and other factors.

Obesity rates by gender

What Factors Contribute To Morbid Obesity?

Individuals are considered morbidly obese if:

  • They are over 100 pounds overweight for their height and gender;
  • They have a BMI of 40 or greater;
  • They have a BMI of 35 or higher and suffer from at least one severe health condition as a result of their weight. (type 2 diabetes, severe obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension, etc.)

Obesity is primarily caused by an imbalance between the amount of fat our bodies store and the amount we burn through physical activity. The scientific community has yet to fully comprehend the underlying factors that contribute to variations in calorie burning and weight gain among individuals.

Weight gain is commonly attributed to three main factors: overeating, consuming unhealthy foods, and a lack of regular exercise. A person’s risk for obesity may be influenced by a number of underlying factors, such as:

  • Genetics/DNA;
  • Medical conditions;
  • Prescription Medications;
  • An Imbalance of Hormones;
  • Cultural Differences;
  • Environment/Socio-economic/Geographical Elements.

How Can Morbidly Obese Individuals Achieve Weight Loss?

The most effective method of losing weight will be different for each person due to the numerous underlying causes of obesity. An effective treatment for morbid obesity often requires the implementation of various strategies, which may include:

  • Various therapies, such as behavioral and psychological therapies, can be used to address different concerns;
  • Prescription medication may help some individuals with appetite suppression and satiety to promote weight loss;
  • Drastic changes in diet and lifestyle choices involve significant alterations in their daily routines, habits, and overall way of living;
  • Learning the importance of nutrition and healthy eating habits enables them to make informed choices about their diet and overall well-being;
  • Access to ongoing support through in-person or online sources;
  • A weight loss surgery or procedure.

Weight Loss Programs

Morbid obesity that is left untreated has been linked to serious medical conditions and even early death. A doctor-supervised weight loss program can provide tools, guidance, and the support necessary to lower a morbid obesity BMI range and reduce an individual’s overall health risks.

Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center in NYC has an amazing reputation for being a full-service weight loss clinic offering years of expertise, proven results, and amazing patient testimonials. Dr. Steven Batash has worked with thousands of patients, both in the U.S. and abroad, helping them decipher their inhibitors for weight loss and addressing them. Most individuals who are morbidly obese require some type of medical intervention before they can lose or maintain a healthy weight. Some individuals may benefit from an endoscopic weight loss procedure or prescription weight loss injections, along with nutritional and lifestyle coaching.

Having a great support system, knowledge, guidance, and strategies you can use can make a significant difference in how effective your weight loss program is and how successful you are in reaching your goals.

Endoscopic Procedures to Facilitate Weight Loss

Individuals who suffer from morbid obesity may find some relief through weight loss using a non-surgical endoscopic weight loss procedure such as Suture Sculpt ESG or an intragastric balloon.

Both of these types of procedures are done as outpatients, so there is no need to spend even one night in the hospital. An endoscope is used to access the individual’s stomach using their mouth and throat as the pathway, so there are no incisions involved or visible scars left behind. Since these procedures are not surgical, they carry significantly lower risks and offer very short recovery periods.

Intragastric balloons are placed in the person’s stomach on a temporary basis, making them feel satisfied like they have already eaten a fairly large meal. This helps them consume fewer calories and lose weight. The Suture Sculpt ESG procedure uses sutures to create a smaller and shorter stomach that can only hold a very small amount of food. It results in similar weight loss results as the popular gastric sleeve surgery but is done without removing any portion of the stomach or using any incisions.

Prescription Medication

The FDA has approved two types of prescription weight loss injections that help control appetite and boost an individual’s metabolism. There is a third medication that is currently being used off-label and is rumored to be FDA-approved before the end of the year. These injections consist of medications that mimic a naturally occurring hormone that is instrumental in the digestion process, and when used, they can maximize your body’s efficiency.

Patients have found that when they use these medications along with Suture Sculpt or a gastric balloon, they experience prolonged satiety, and the “food chatter” from their brain stops. This makes it easier for them to make healthy food choices and avoid snacking between meals or overeating at mealtime.

Health Benefits Of Losing Weight To Combat Morbid Obesity

Morbid obesity can significantly increase the risk of developing various serious health conditions and may also reduce life expectancy by up to 14 years. Weight loss can reduce the risks of developing Type II diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, severe sleep apnea, high blood pressure, joint problems, mobility issues, depression, and several types of cancer.

Fortunately, you do not have to navigate through weight loss alone, and there are several effective treatments available to help you. These might include non-surgical procedures, prescription medications, continuing guidance and support from professionals, or a combination of these options.

Patients who suffer from obesity often see remarkable improvements in their obesity-related health issues. Patients have experienced remission of type 2 diabetes or are able to reduce or eliminate their medication for this or other conditions such as hypertension.

If you are looking to reduce your morbid obesity BMI range or only have a moderate amount to lose, we encourage you to reach out to us here at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center. Our main goal is to assist you in achieving your weight loss objectives and improving your overall health.

Together, we can work to improve your quality of life and increase your overall health. Contact us today and speak with a member of our team to discover your options for a comprehensive custom weight loss plan and the support you will receive while achieving your weight loss goals.

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