Ephrata Community Hospital

What is Morbid Obesity?

Obesity is defined as excess fat tissue. Obesity is a chronic disease, which can be treated but not cured.

Clinically, obesity is generally defined two ways.

  1. An increase of 20 percent or more above your "ideal body weight" is considered obese. Typically, insurance height-weight charts are used as references for ideal weights.
  2. Another method of determining obesity is the the Body Mass Index or BMI. The BMI uses a person's height and weight to calculate a value that corresponds to the degree of health risk a person has.  A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

Medically, the word "morbid" means causing disease or injury. Obesity becomes morbid when it reaches the point of significantly increasing the risk of developing serious or life-threatening conditions, which are known as co-morbidities. Morbid obesity is typically defined as being 100 lbs. or more above ideal body weight or having a BMI of 40 or higher.

For more information, contact the Weight Loss Clinic at 717-336-6578.