Clinically severe or morbid obesity (BMI >40 or 50 kg m−2) has far more serious health consequences than moderate obesity for patients, and creates additional challenges for providers.
In this study, researchers studied time trends for extreme weight categories.
Between 2000 and 2010, the prevalence of a BMI >40 kg m−2 (type III obesity), calculated from self-reported height and weight, increased by 70%, whereas the prevalence of BMI >50 kg m−2 increased even faster.
The researchers estimated that in 2010, 15.5 million adult Americans or 6.6% of the population had an actual BMI >40 kg m−2.
They noted the prevalence of clinically severe obesity continues to be increasing, although less rapidly in more recent years than prior to 2005.
To learn more, see Sturm & Hattori. (2013). Morbid obesity rates continue to rise rapidly in the United States. International Journal of Obesity, 37(6), 889-891.