Obesity is not an unfamiliar word to any of us. We may, however, all have a different idea in our heads as to what actually constitutes obesity. We all have our own perception of obesity. For one person, fifty pounds over the ideal weight may seem obese; to another, that may just seem chubby. But, obesity isn’t subjective. There are actual guidelines that determine if a person is clinically obese.

Deciding what constitutes obesity is a major undertaking which had to be taken very seriously. Clinical obesity or morbid obesity is a key factor in whether or not a person is a candidate for a variety of weight-loss surgeries. Doctors and surgeons must know definitively if someone meets the criteria. It took several years for the research to be complete, and in 2013 the guidelines were published. They were the result of the combined work of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology.

Professionals agreed that an increased waist circumference is a risk factor for weight-related health issues. There is no specific waist circumference cited as the threshold for obesity. BMI (Body Mass Index), on the other hand, does have specific numbers associated with obesity. The guidelines state that your BMI, if greater than or equal to 40, puts you in the category of obesity. Also, if you have a BMI greater than or equal to 35 with obesity-related comorbid conditions, you qualify as obese. These numbers are enough for your primary care physician to refer you to a bariatric surgeon if you so choose.

The studies conducted by these professionals did not find that any specific diet was the key to losing weight. There are “fad diets” coming on to the scene constantly. If any of them was really the “magic” key to weight loss, doctors would know. They did find a reduction in caloric intake was the most effective measure to take, diet-wise, to achieve weight loss on your own. Most physicians will tell you that portion control (no, you don’t NEED a second helping) and moderate, consistent exercise are the primary keys to good health.

Some of you have tried tons of “fad diets” only to discover that they don’t work. Some of you have taken your doctor’s advice, cut back on your calories, and started exercising. You may be seeing the results of your efforts. Or, you may be frustrated. Not everyone’s body responds the same. Some of you have genetic predispositions to being overweight. Some of you have health conditions that have made it difficult to control your weight. And, some of you may be a bit older and your body doesn’t respond like it used to, such as for women in menopause. All of these are legitimate reasons why losing weight feels like an uphill battle.

At Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute, we understand your struggle. With over ten years of clinical practice in gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and lap band surgeries, Dr. Diego Velarde, has made it his mission to help guide his patients through the decision to have weight loss surgery, the surgery itself, and the aftercare. Located in Rockledge, Dr. Velarde proudly serves the Brevard County area and wants to be your doctor of choice for your weight loss journey.