What is the difference between overweight & obesity?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,110
    Health Expert William McCarthy discusses the difference between overweight & obesity.

    William McCarthy

    Dr. William McCarthy is the Medical Director at the NOVA ABC Weight Loss Clinic

    Dr. McCarthy has been in private medical practice in the Northern Virginia area since 1976.  He received a BS (Magna cum laude) at Xavier University in Cincinnati, his M.D. degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C, and served his internship and residency in Family Practice at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. McCarthy is board certified in bariatric medicine, which is the medical specialty of weight  disorders.  At this time, there are only approximatly 300 board certified bariatricians in the United States.

     He has served as the Chief of Staff and board member of Potomac Hospital here in Woodbridge.  He founded the nationally recognized Continuing Medical Education program at Potomac Hospital and served as it director for over twenty years.  He has been repeatedly voted by his peers as one of the top physicians in the D.C area in the Washington Consumer Checkbook.  Dr. McCarthy has also served as a board member of the Northern Virginia Foundation for Health and Medical Care and on the board of Physician’s Care insurance.  He was the team physician for the Prince William professional baseball team for many years, chosen by the Pirates, Yankees, Cardinals, and White Sox.   Dr. McCarthy has an outstanding reputation as a physician and educator, known not only for his broad knowledge of medicine, but also as a compassionate and caring physician.  After years of treating the health consequences that were brought on by excess weight, Dr. McCarthy decided to shift the focus of his care to the treatment and prevention of the actual cause of these medical problems.  Dr. McCarthy has attended numerous conferences, intensively studied the most current medical literature, and has spent time working with well known, experienced bariatricians in order to enhance his knowledge in the science of weight loss, metabolism, nutrition, exercise, and behavioral aspects of weight control.  He now dedicates his experience and knowledge to those who lives and health are adversely affected by their excess weight.

    Host: What is the difference between overweight and obesity?

    William McCarthy: The true definition medically of overweight and obesity is defined by a term we call the BMI or Body Mass Index. Mathematically, this is calculated by taking a person s weight in pounds and multiplying it times 703 and dividing it by their height which would be inches and we square that. Then we arrive at a number and so, what we do, we define this really more to research but a person who have a BMI of 30 would be considered obese.

    Obese means a person is at risk for a number of diseases. Overweight is a BMI of greater than 25. Generally, overweight becomes a problem when it is associated with other situations such as diabetes or hypertension. So, what we try to do is to ideally get every one down to a BMI of 25 or less. Now, we also have some subcategories we call morbid obesity or medically severe obesity, this would be a BMI of 40.

    This is a very medically severe problem with a very high mortality rate, marked increase in rates of a lot of diseases associated with obesity. We also categorize people between a BMI between 30 and 35 is category one. It is not quite severe these are people who are quite overweight, but they are not in the highest category of overweight.

    We have category two which is a BMI between 35 and 40. This is a more severe problem and the more problems that we add onto obesity and overweight, the more risk a person entails.