Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program Patient Resources
How do you determine obesity?
Obesity is defined as a generalized accumulation of body fat. It is measured by the body mass index (BMI), which is determined by a person's height and weight.
- A person with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
- A person with a BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese.
- A person with a BMI of 40 or greater is considered extremely or morbidly obese.
It is important to remember that BMI is just one number among a host of information that a care and support team will solicit from a child and their family. Diet, activity levels, environment, genetics and other factors are all relevant in making assessments and treatment plans.
Adolescent obesity: too prevalent and too dangerous
It is estimated that from 15-30% of adolescents are obese in the U.S. It also estimated that 50-77% of children and adolescents who are obese will carry their obesity into adulthood. Obesity can cause devastating physical and psychological effects and increase the risk of developing serious and often life-threatening conditions. These include:
- type 2 diabetes
- sleep apnea
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol/triglycerides
- high insulin levels (pre-diabetic)
- fatty liver disease
- joint and back pain
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn)
- irregular/absent menstrual cycles
- urinary incontinence
- sleep disorders
- poor quality of life
- inability to participate in daily activities