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Understanding Obesity

Obesity is a complex medical condition affecting nearly one third of the nation’s adult population, according to the National Institutes of Health. Individuals who are considered medically obese have a high percentage of body fat, often with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

The BMI scale is used by many medical professionals to evaluate a patient’s weight in relation to their height. Body mass index is measured as a single number, with different numbers correlating to different weight ranges (including obesity). The most common BMI classifications are as follows:

  • Underweight – A BMI of 18.4 or less
  • Healthy weight – A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight – A BMI of 25 to 29.9
  • Obese Class 1 – A BMI of 30 to 34.9
  • Obese Class 2 – A BMI of 35 to 39.9
  • Obese Class 3 – A BMI of 40 or higher

Although BMI is not the only factor that can influence a person’s health, the higher his or her BMI calculation, the greater his or her risk of developing obesity-related health problems. People with Class 2 (moderate risk) and Class 3 (high risk) obesity often experience more complications than individuals who fall within the Class 1 (low risk) range.

Our specialists take into consideration a patient’s BMI, but also his or her metabolic rate, vital signs, and the results of several lab tests to assess his or her cardiovascular risk factors and overall health.

We understand that long-term weight loss can be complicated, and medical interventions may be necessary for patients with moderate to severe obesity. Through our bariatrics program, we offer a complete range of surgical and non-surgical solutions for obesity, as well as its related health effects. At Tampa General, patients are educated and empowered to take control of their health and wellness.

To learn more about our treatments for obesity and other related conditions, contact TGH + USF Health Bariatric Center by emailing  or by calling (813) 844-7473.

BMI Chart