Morbid Obesity or Class 3 Obesity : Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Morbid Obesity or Class 3 Obesity : Causes, Prevention, Treatment

What is Morbid Obesity

Morbid obesity or known as Class 3 Obesity is an Obesity condition in which you have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 40.


Morbid Obesity Definition

Morbid Obesity is a health condition that results from an abnormally high body mass that is diagnosed by having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40kg/m², a BMI of greater than 35kg/m² with at least one serious obesity-related condition, or being more than 100 pounds over ideal body weight (IBW).

Morbid Obesity BMI

BMI (Kg/m2)
Less Than < 18.5 Underweight
Between 18.5 - 25.0 Normal Weight
Between 25.0 - 30.0 Over Weight
Between 30.0 - 35.0 Class 1 Obesity
Between 35.0 - 40.0 Class 2 Obesity
40.0 or Over Morbid Obesity or Class 3 Obesity
  • Underweight: If your BMI of less than 18.5, you are in the underweight range.
  • Normal Weight: If your BMI of 18.5 to less than 25, you are in the healthy weight range.
  • Over Weight: If your BMI of 25.0 to less than 30, you are in the overweight range.‌
  • Obesity: If your BMI of 30.0 or higher, you are in the obesity range.

Additionally, there are three separate categories in the intensity of severity:

  • Obesity class 1: If BMI is between 30 and less than 35 kg/m2
  • Obesity class 2: If BMI is between 35 and less than 40‌ kg/m2
  • Morbid Obesity or class 3: Obesity: If BMI is 40 kg/m2 or higher

BMI (Body mass index) is used to diagnose obesity. BMI is specifically used to estimate body fat and can help into determine if you are at your healthy body weight for your size.

Health Tips:

Check your own BMI using Drlogy's BMI Calculator

BMI For Morbid Obesity

BMI above 40 kg/m2 indicates that you have morbid obesity or a class 3 type of obesity which is extremely dangerous.


Morbid Obesity Symptoms

  • High buildup of fat around whole body
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Breathe problems
  • Joint back pain
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Tiredness
  • Depression

Morbid Obesity Causes

Morbid Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and some contributing factors.

  • Family inheritance and influences
    Genes that we inherit from our parents may affect the amount of body fat we store, and where that fat is distributed which can higher the chance of if morbid Obesity tends to run in families you also will get the same in your genes.
  • Genetics Factors
    Genetics plays an important role in how efficiently your body converts food into energy, how your body regulates your appetite, and how your body burns calories during exercise.
  • Liquid calories
    High-liquid calorie beverages like soft drinks and junk food drinks can contribute to significant extra weight gain which can cause morbid obesity in long term.
  • Unhealthy diet
    Street can unhealthy junk food and food appetite which can result in weight gain and later on morbid obesity.
  • Certain diseases and medications
    Medical problems like arthritis can lead to decreased activity and some medications like antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antipsychotic medications, steroids, and beta blockers may result in weight gain.
  • Social and economic issues
    If you are not taught healthy ways of cooking hygiene or consuming food you can have an unequal balance of diet which can cause morbid obesity.
  • Your Age & Sex
    Your age and sex plays important role in hormonal changes and a less active lifestyle increases your risk of obesity which leads to morbid obesity.
  • Lack of sleep
    Minimal sleep can cause changes in hormones which increase your appetite. Because of that you also crave foods with high calories and carbohydrates, which indirectly contributes to weight gain.
  • Stress
    When people are experiencing stressful situations often seek high-calorie food which can lead to morbid obesity.
  • Microbiome
    Your gut bacteria microbiome is affected by what you eat which can contribute to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

ICD 10 code for Morbid Obesity

 E66.01  Morbid Obesity occurs due to excess calories
 E66.02  Morbid Obesity with alveolar hypoventilation
 E66.9  Unspecified Obesity

The U.S. Department have developed a Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) for medical diagnoses based on WHO's ICD-10 and CMS developed a new Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS).

Morbid Obesity ICD 10

  • The E codes E66.01 and E66.9 are specifically used to describe various types of obesity in different words.
  • E66.01 is morbid obesity or severe obesity from excess calories.
  • E66.9 is unspecified obesity.

Morbid Obesity Risk Factors

  • Certain genetic syndromes
  • Eating behaviors
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Genetic syndromes like Prader-Willi syndrome, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, Alström syndrome, and Cohen syndrome are associated with obesity.
  • Certain medications
  • Certain endocrine conditions like Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, and Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Morbid Obesity Diagnosis

The morbid obesity diagnosis is based on the physical examination and medical history of the patient. If the calculation of the BMI is greater than 40 kg/m2, it’ll give the exact intensity factor in order to determine the severity of morbid obesity. Here are some techniques your doctor can use

  • Calculating your BMI
  • Checking your health history
  • General physical examination
  • Blood analysis and imaging tests
  • Measuring your waist circumference
  • Checking for other health problems


Tests used for Morbid Obesity

Any doctor can typically perform a physical examination and recommend some tests. Some of the tests are

  • Complete blood count.
  • Basic metabolic panel.
  • Kidney (renal) function tests.
  • Liver function tests.
  • Lipid panel.
  • Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C)
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test
  • Vitamin D levels test.
  • Urinalysis
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) test

Morbid Obesity Complications

People with Morbid obesity are more likely to develop serious health problems, including

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Depression
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Certain cancers
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep disorders like sleep apnea
  • Breathing issues

Morbid Obesity Prevention

  • Nutrition diet
  • Physical exercise
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Limit high-calorie foods
  •  Stay away from alcohol

Morbid Obesity Treatment

Here are some comprehensive morbid obesity treatment includes

  • Weight loss surgery
  • Dietary modification
  • Physical activity
  • Change in Diet Plan & Food habits
  • Gastric bypass Surgery
  • Tubular gastrectomy Surgery
  • Prevention of weight regain
  • Behavioral modification
  • Reduce sedentarism
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Obesity FAQ

What is morbid obesity?

Morbid obesity is a chronic health condition in which there is some serious health problems developed when your body mass index (BMI) higher than 40.

Which surgical procedure treats morbid obesity by shortening the jejunum?

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgical procedure treats morbid obesity by shortening the jejunum.

What bmi is considered morbid obesity?

BMI above 40 kg/m2 is considered morbid obesity or a class 3 type of obesity which is extremely dangerous.

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