Extreme Obesity, And What You Can Do About It

Too much weight can take a toll on your body, especially your heart. The good news is that there are steps you can take to get healthier — and even losing a little body weight can start you on the right path.

Why lose weight?
If you’re extremely obese, losing weight can mean “less heart disease, less diabetes and less cancer,” said Robert Eckel, M.D., past president of the American Heart Association. “Metabolic improvements start to occur when people with extreme obesity lose about 10 percent of their body weight.”

Losing weight can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke; risk factors like high blood pressure, plasma glucose and sleep apnea. It can also help lower your total cholesterol, triglycerides and raise “good” cholesterol — HDL.

Understanding Extreme Obesity
A healthy BMI ranges from 17.5 – 25 kg/m2. If your body mass index is 40 or higher, you are considered extremely obese (or morbidly obese.) Check out the American Heart Association’s BMI calculator for adults to determine if your weight is in a healthy range. (Note: BMI in children is determined using a different BMI calendar from the CDC.)

A woman is extremely obese if she’s 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 235 pounds, making her BMI 40.3 kg/m2. To reach a healthy BMI of 24.8, she would have to lose 90 pounds to reach a weight of 145 pounds.

A man is extremely obese if he’s 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 315 pounds, making his BMI 40.4 kg/m2. To reach a healthy BMI of 25.0, he would need to lose 120 pounds to reach a weight of 195 pounds.

Doctors use BMI to define severe obesity rather than a certain number of pounds or a set weight limit, because BMI factors weight in relation to height.

How to Get Healthier
If you’re extremely obese, taking action to lose weight and improve your health may seem overwhelming. You may have had trouble losing weight or maintaining your weight loss, been diagnosed with medical problems and endured the social stigma of obesity.

“The key to getting started is to find a compassionate doctor with expertise in treating extreme obesity,” said Dr. Eckel, who is also professor of medicine and Charles A. Boettcher II Chair in Atherosclerosis at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. “Bonding with your physician is the best way to get past first base and on the path to better health.”

If you’re extremely obese, Dr. Eckel recommends that you become more active, but not to start a vigorous workout program without getting physician advice and not until you’ve lost about 10 percent of your body weight.
“You can continue the level of physical activity that you’re already doing, but check with your physician before increasing it,” Dr. Eckel said. “Some people with extreme obesity may have health issues like arthritis or heart disease that could limit or even be worsened by exercise.”

Treatment Options
Talk to your doctor about the health benefits and the risks of treatment options for extreme obesity:

  1. Change your diet. You may be referred to a dietician who can help you with a plan to lose one to two pounds per week. To lose weight, you have to reduce the number of calories you consume. Start by tracking everything you eat.

    “You have to become a good record-keeper,” Dr. Eckel said. “Reduce calories by 500 calories per day to lose about a one pound a week, or cut 1,000 calories a day to lose about two pounds a week.”

  2. Consider adding physical activity after reaching a minimum of 10 percent weight-loss goal.
  3. Medication. Some people can benefit from medication to help with weight loss for extreme obesity. Keep in mind that medication can be expensive and have side effects.
  4. Surgery. If changing your diet, getting more physical activity and taking medication haven’t helped you lose enough weight, bariatric or “metabolic” surgery may be an option. The American Heart Association recommends surgery for those who are healthy enough for the procedure and have been unsuccessful with lifestyle changes and medication. Risks can include infections and potentially dangerous blood clots soon after the operation, and concerns about getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals long-term.

Get The Social Or Medical Support You Need
Although some people can modify their lifestyle and lose weight on their own, many need extra help. A social support system can help encourage your progress and keep you on track. Decide what support best fits your needs — either a weight-loss support group or one-on-one therapy.

Some people with extreme obesity suffer from depression. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment, as some anti-depressant medications can cause weight gain.

Learn more:

  • BMI Calculator
  • BMI in Children
  • 5 Goals to Losing Weight
  • Losing Weight With Life’s Simple 7 Infographic
  • Preventing Childhood Obesity: Tips for Parents and Caretakers

Government Org Photoshops Little Girl, Makes Her Fat to Fight Obesity

This unsettling ad campaign for First 5, a government-run “healthy kids” program, depicts a heavily (literally) photoshopped little girl drinking from a paper bag (?) of sugar. Ugh, so many problems here.

On bus stop billboards, the words under the ad say:

“Less sugar” still has too much sugar. Sugary drinks like juice, sports drinks and soda can cause obesity. Choose milk* and water instead.

First, I get that they’re trying to show that soda/fruit juice/all of the delicious drink are filled with evil sugar, but it just looks like she’s trying to drink dry sugar out of a xxl maxi pad. And HELLO, obviously you can’t drink sugar out of a bag — First 5 clearly didn’t consult any fat kids — or any kids, period — or they would’ve known that this is how you eat sugar out of a container. Jesus.

Second, that has to be the worst photoshop botch job in a LOOOONG time. The (originally adorable) girl looks like Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal or Tracy Jordan in Fat Bitch. I wouldn’t exactly call her fat, and I wouldn’t call her wouldn’t human-looking either. She looks like a future graphic design dropout was blindfolded and then told to draw an obese chipmunk. Plus, WTF is up with the darkening of her skin? It’s all bad.

But perhaps most importantly, this. shit. doesn’t. work.**

More specifically:

A review of 55 international studies of programs aimed at reducing childhood obesity found that although most programs were able to reduce adiposity to some degree, not all interventions were effective, reported Elizabeth Waters, PhD, from the University of Melbourne, and colleagues in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews. Children in an intervention group had a standardized mean difference in body mass index (BMI) of -0.15 kg/m2 (95% CI -0.21 to -0.09).

That’s a one pound weight loss, on average. Is that enough? Is it enough of a weight loss to torture kids with this shit? Because I’ll tell you what it’s like to be standing with a parent, friend, or bully when you see an ad like that — it’s humiliating, shameful, and sometimes dangerous. We know the physical toll of these tactics is a one pound weight loss, but what is the mental toll? And what are the ramifications of that stress on a young child’s body And regardless of how it makes fat kids feel — is the one pound weight loss enough to justify the time, cost, and effort put into this campaign?

Because I don’t think so. These government and school sanctioned weight loss programs just makes it that much harder for kids today. Don’t the adults who come up with these campaigns have any memory of what it was like to be a kid? If they did, I find it hard to believe that these are the tactics they would take. But then, they clearly have no idea what it’s like to be a responsible adult either, because they would’ve evaluated the stats and made a course correction by now. I just don’t understand what’s going on over there? Are they stubborn? Lazy? Stupid? What’s the deal?

Perhaps the worst part is that, if the website is any indication, the program appears to be defunct or barely operational. So, say you were an adult or kid who saw that ad and was like “Yes, I’d like to stop drinking dry sugar out of a maxi-pad! Show me the skinny light!” and actually visited First 5’s site, you’d be greeted with little information. Some of their programs haven’t been updated since 2009, and others have “Page Information – Coming Soon” placeholders.

Seriously, you guys? If you’re gonna go out of your way to pay for ads that belittle and humiliate children, at least pretend to offer a solution. Or maybe their terrible, incomplete, unhelpful website is the most honest thing about this whole shitshow.

*Milk is pretty high in sugar, and its health benefits are highly debatable — especially if we’re talking in black people, as seventy-five percent of African Americans are thought to be lactose intolerant.
**And maybe we don’t REALLY want them to, either? But that’s a whole ‘nother conversation…

Via national treasure Marilyn Wann; special thanks to Elizabeth Tamny, Cary Webb, and Kirby R. Michelle.

Sharon Osbourne on Weight Loss

Sharon Osbourne - Official  badass apparently

Sharon Osbourne is more famous for not being famous than anything else. She became the wife of 70s rocker and former Black Sabbath front man, Ozzy Osbourne, in 1982 after being his manager for three years. Nowadays she’s a TV presenter, pundit and advocate of weight loss.

The couple built a good life together, having three children and a somewhat regular normal life given the circumstances but when MTV cam knocking and ‘The Osbournes’ hit the airwaves, the families ‘normal’ life was exposed to the world and the bawdy family became the staple for many TV viewers.

It was Sharon spoke to MTV and invited them along to talk about reality show that would capture the everyday minutiae of an otherwise quite ordinary family.

MTV aired the first episode of ‘The Osbournes’ on March 5, 2002 and on the back of it the whole family catapulted to fame; the public ultimately having to endure four years of family disputes, teenage tantrums and enormous egos.

Sharon Osboure at her biggest

Among the more dramatic highlights of the show came jus a few months into the first season when Sharon was diagnosed with colon cancer (also called ‘colorectal cancer’)which had spread to her lymph nodes.

She was given a 33 percent chance of survival by doctors but despite the grim prognosis, Sharon was insistent that MTV cameras continue to document the family’s daily life and capture her journey through the illness and subsequent treatment.

She eventually underwent surgery to remove the cancer and that was followed by a course of chemotherapy. As a result she suffered hair loss and donned a wig to keep up appearances.

The whole cancer episode took a huge toll on the family and Ozzy admitted that he nearly fell apart during her treatment. Their son Jack suffered from deep depression which led to a suicide attempt.

Since being declared cancer free, Sharon has been back in front of cameras, hosting a myriad of shows including ‘The Sharon Osbourne Show’, ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Rock of Love: Charm School’. In March of 2009 a new variety show called ‘Osbournes: Reloaded’ was launched and aired in the United States.

Sharon Osbourne before and after plastic surgery

Sharon is no stranger to the surgeon’s knife and she freely admits to undergoing extensive cosmetic surgery. Among her remodelling she has had rhytidectomy (a type of cosmetic surgery that involves removing wrinkles for a more youthful appearance), abdominoplasty (a procedure to give the abdomen a firmer appearance by removing excess skin and fat), as well as mastopexy, which is a breast augmentation. Her procedures totalled a whopping $500,000.

The list does not end there: in 1999 also underwent lap-band surgery, in which an adjustable band was wrapped around her stomach. This method – also called an ‘Adjustable Gastric Band’ – is used in obese people to shrink the size and volume of their stomachs, causing them to eat much less. Sharon lost 100 pounds through the procedure, but her weight troubles didn’t end there.

Always a little on the heavy side, she has attempted to countless weight loss ventures which led to yo-yo dieting and fluctuating weight. Despite the success of her lap-band surgery, she admitted she still suffered with eating disorders – namely bulimia.

Bulimics binge on food and induce a method of ridding themselves of food immediately thereafter. The most common type of bulimia involves patients self-inducing vomiting after a binge, but other methods include the use of enemas and laxatives. The ‘binge and purge method’ is extremely harmful to the body.

To say that Sharon Osbourne’s medical record is extensive would be an understatement, yet the witty, well-respected TV personality and matriarch of the kookiest family on television has proven her perseverance when facing pitfalls in regards to her health.

Kirstie Allie's yo-yo weight

kirstie alley before and after

Actress and TV host, Kirstie Alley, enjoyed her greatest television success in the 1980s and early 90s but she still hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the decades following her career.

In the early days, best remembered as Rebecca Howe in the hit series ‘Cheers’, she was almost a pin-up model. Her striking looks and slim figure were the focus of many viewers’ attention and she was much sought after because of it.

After the ‘Cheers’ days she enjoyed several years playing opposite John Travolta in the popular ‘Look Who’s Talking’ trilogy and further success with three years in ‘Veronica’s Closet’. But in the years following her pinnacle as a TV ‘hottie’ she slipped into an ongoing battle with her weight and the spotlight shifted from her charm and good looks to her increasing dress size.

After her active TV career ended, Alley ballooned and she was plagued by the paparazzi who were quick to publish very unflattering photos of her in the media (yes, just as we have).


Kirstie Alley has become like a pair of bellows.  Her weight loss and gain has been well covered by the press

At the time she weighed over 200 lbs (over 90kg) and was declared clinically obese. In 2004 she admitted to battling her severe weight issues by becoming the spokesperson for Jenny Craig, a weight loss and management company.

In 2006, after following the Jenny Craig program for two years, Alley appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show in a bikini to show off her success and the American public lapped it up. Her achievement was celebrated in the United States and gave hope to a growing nation of obese couch potatoes who were searching for a cure to their own weight issues.

Although painful at the time, Kirstie says that one particularly hideous photo of her in a tabloid publication made her realize it was time to do something about her excessive weight and take better care of her health in the process.

The successful weight loss didn’t last though and after she walked away from the role of spokesperson for Jenny Craig piled on the weight once again.

Kirstie Alley as seen when she first appeared on Cheers


During an interview with Oprah she said: ”When you’re a spokesperson for a weight loss company … somebody weighs you every week. It’s pressure but it’s good pressure. I do better if I have some pressure on me,”

When I didn’t have that anymore … I just said, ‘I’m going to cut myself some slack.’ Big mistake.”

She stopped weighing herself and it was almost 18 months before she stepped up onto the plate again. The worst aspect was the guilt she felt, thinking that she let a lot of people down, people who looked up to her and admired her strength of will.

She admits that she has never really had control over her weight but says the best thing that came out of trying to lose weight and battling the bulge was quitting smoking.

John Goodman's Incredible Weight Loss

John Goodman looking in good shape after his weight loss adventure

John Goodman first rose to prominence as the sarcastic, chubby, working class father and foil to Roseanne Barr in the 1990s hit TV show ‘Roseanne’. As a big man, John was well aware of the implications to his health, especially as he got older; he knew he ran the risk of heart disease, diabetes and worse. Never one to shirk from a fight, he decided to do something about his oversized physique and set about a drastic weight loss program that would eventually reap healthy benefits and draw compliments and plaudits from many quarters.

He premiered his new, svelte self at the AFI Life Achievement Award for Mike Nichols and shortly afterwards photos of the new-look actor found their way onto the pages of a glut of magazines and websites.

His transformation was both striking and inspirational and during an appearance on ‘The Late Show With David Letterman’ shortly after showing off his new body on the red carpet, the host pressed him on the thorny issue of his peak weight.

John Goodman pushing around 400lbs

Plenty … pushing 400 … somewhere up around there.”

John went on to explain how for years, especially during his work on ‘Roseanne’, his body had to endure a vicious cycle of gaining and shedding weight.

I’d get off of ‘Roseanne’ every spring. I’d lose 60 lbs every spring. Then I got too fond of the barley corn… I’d gain it back and then some, every year.”

A happier looking John Goodman who has battled with his weight for years

The exact amount of weight Goodman lost remains unknown and unconfirmed, some media outlets claim to know that he lost as much as 200lbs!

But for John that’s just not enough and his desire to lose even more weight was something he was all too happy to discuss.

[I’m] getting a lot of exercise, I feel great. It’s going to be an ongoing process for the rest of my life.”


Drew Carey's Amazing Weight Loss

Drew Carey fits into spaces he could only have dreamed of a few years ago

For an age, Drew Carey fell into ‘the cute and cuddly’ category; a status which is as cursed as it is revered. The pudgy, bespectacled comedian was always overweight but at 52-years-old ‘The Price Is Right’ host realized how much of an effect his obesity was having on his health. Drew was diagnosed with diabetes and even underwent angioplasty in 2001, at the age of 43, to pry open clogged arteries in order to allow blood to pass through properly.

It sucks being fat, you know.”

I was diabetic with type 2 diabetes.”

The old Drew Carey - overweight and uncomfortable with himself

But health wasn’t the only factor behind his weight loss – his new family were a huge part of the reason he shed an incredible 80lbs.

My fiance has a 5-year old, and wow, I’d love to see him graduate, I’d love to be able play with him without getting tired, enjoy my life and watch him grow.”

After losing the 80lbs, Drew happily announced he was “not diabetic anymore. No medication needed.”

But what was his weight loss secret and how did he shed 80lbs in such a short space of time?

No carbs,” was the long and short of it. “I have cheated a couple times, but basically no carbs, not even a cracker. No bread at all. No pizza, nothing. No corn, no beans, no starches of any kind. Egg whites in the morning or like, Greek yogurt, cut some fruit.”

Drew also claims his new diet came hand in hand with working out. He’s been doing “lots of cardio.”

About 45 minutes of cardio, at least 45 minutes of cardio. I’ve been kind of lazy like lately, so I’m not doing it six days a week, but I will be for this next month.”

After dropping several dress sizes, Drew said it was motivation to keep going, and intends to lose another 10 lbs so he can fit into a size 32.

Drew Carey weighs up his options and comes out healthier because of it

His diet of choice is similar to the ‘Atkins Diet’ and although that proved very popular during the early 2000s it has since been proved as a false hope as when people return to eating carbs, the weight returns with them.

Successful weight loss comes through a balanced diet and exercise. Not over eating, cutting out sugar and eating plenty of healthy green vegetables is a step in the right direction. The human body needs carbohydrates and healthy fats but not so much proteins so by cutting out carbs you are effectively starving the body.

Bill Clinton turns to veganism after heart operation


High levels of cholesterol are a growing problem these days and are attributed to the types of food we eat and the stressful lifestyles many of us have. Furthermore, If “bad” cholesterol isn’t dealt with quickly it can have dire consequences, as former president, Bill Clinton found out.

On September 7, 2004, three years after his presidency ended, Clinton went to hospital complaining of chest pains. He was rushed into surgery and underwent a successful quadruple coronary artery bypass.

Although Clinton had a healthy diet, his low-density lipoprotein levels (or “bad“ cholesterol) were well known. According to a report by CNN at the time. Clinton’s cholesterol levels in his final year of being president were at 177 but rose to over 200 within the following year. An acceptably healthy reading of cholesterol levels is below 130.

Bill Clinton now

Clinton underwent the bypass when results from angiograms showed that he had a partial coronary blockage, which was reportedly a result of fatty “plaque”.

In an interview with Larry King on CNN, Clinton said: “Some of this is genetic, and I may have done some damage in those years when I was too careless about what I ate.”

He also said that without the surgery, “there is virtually 100 percent chance I’ll have a heart attack.”

Since then he has extolled the virtues of the raw food diet which has seen him shed weight and regain a vitality he’d forgotten since his youth.


Clinton, the 42ndPresident of the United States, led the country from 1993 to 2001. He was regarded by many as the Golden Boy but will more likely be remembered for his less decent actions, namely impeachment after the sex scandal involving 22-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky. Despite the public disgrace Clinton continues to be a public figure and a representative of his nation, recently involved in pushing Obama’s successful drive for a second term.

His post-presidential career saw him explore many different areas, including creating the William J. Clinton foundation, which supports a variety of humanitarian causes. He continues to be involved in his nation’s politics, including Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2008.

Halle Berry: Controlling Diabetes Through Healthy Living

Halle Berry looking healthy

Halle Berry enjoying the big outdoors. Diabetes doesn’t stop her.


With the advent of mass, overly processed food the world has seen a sharp increase in the number of global diabetes cases. It could be considered an epidemic now which is spiralling out of control and doesn’t look set to change until something is done about the amount of sugar, salt and chemicals in our food.

Many celebrities have been diagnosed with the illness which comes in two forms:


Type I Diabetes – where the body is unable to produce insulin due to the destruction of islet cells in the pancreas

Type II Diabetes – the body produces high levels of glucose in the blood in context with insulin resistance


Halle Berry was wrongfully diagnosed with Type I diabetes and claimed to have weaned herself off Insulin; the most widely used medicinal method of treating the illness, but it turned out she had Type II Diabetes all along.

She now treats it by exercising regularly and has changed her diet radically to give her body a more balanced intake; cutting out sugar and lessening the risk of a Hypoglycaemic attack which can lead to a coma and death if not treated quickly.

Dr Gabriel Cousens

Looking good at 69 years of age; Dr Gabriel Cousens may have a point about raw food.

Dr Gabriel Cousens, a doctor of medicine, has long advocated the role of diet in treating a whole host of illnesses including diabetes. His documentary entitled Raw for Thirty Days highlights six cases of diabetes (both types) and the dramatic impact that a change to healthy, raw, natural whole foods had on his patients.

After three days half of the group didn’t need insulin and by the end of the thirty days they had lost considerable weight and were feeling fresher and healthier than they ever had.

Perhaps not going to the measures that Cousens’ guests took, Halle Berry is still advocating a healthy lifestyle to combat her illness and she should be seen as a good role model to anyone of any age who find themselves diagnosed with Diabetes.




Jennifer Hudson's weight loss

Jennifer Hudson

It doesn’t take a super sleuth to work out that Jennifer Hudson has lost a load of weight recently, dropping from a size 16 to a size 6. However, it was only yesterday revealed exactly how many pounds the singer has lost during an interview with fellow dieter, Oprah.

Having buttered the  29-year-old up by telling her how amazing she looked, the talk show host suddenly asked: “Will you tell us how much you’ve lost?” After a little hesitation, Hudson finally admitted that she has lost an impressive 80 pounds, and that she has never felt better.

Jennifer, who is the spokesperson for Weight Watchers, went on to say: “It’s like a brand new me. Sometimes I don’t even recognize myself.”

The star of Dream Girls, who attributed her healthy weight loss to dynamic exercising (switching between routines such as playing basketball, jumping ropes and running on the treadmill)  declared that she has no desire to lose any further weight. “That 4 and 2 and 0 is not for me,” she said.  She also said she prepares her own food.

Jennifer Hudson’s weight loss has also been inspiring other members of  her family to lose weight with her, and between them they have lost almost 2000 pounds.

Other celebrities who have battled with continued weight issues include Sharon Osbourne, Kirstie Alley, Sara Rue, and Oprah herself.

images: amny.com

Katy Perry's weight secrets

Katy Perry

Curvacious Katy Perry who has been flaunting her body once again as she promotes her new fragrance Purr is happy to talk about the one subject most of us don’t feel comfortable talking about – her weight.

“I was shaped like a square at one time. I was! I’m generally around 130 pounds, which is totally fine for me,” the hourglass singer said in an interview with Elle Magazine. “But when I was a kid, I was the same height and weighed more like 145. “I had enormous boobs that I didn’t know what to do with, so I wore minimizers, which were not cute,” the 26-year-old confided.

“Those thick-a** straps! I got made fun of for the over-the-shoulder boulder holder… and all I wanted was to look like Kate Moss. Little did I know… that these things would come in handy someday.”

So how does the songstress keep herself in such great shape? According to Contact Music, she hates to work out but uses jumping rope to stay trim. She “loves jumping rope. There’s a rhythm. It’s like dancing. I can double jump; I can cross. I can do all of that. I look like Rocky when I jump rope.”

Jumping rope is indeed an excellent form of exercise that can burn up to 750 calories an hour. The best thing about jumping rope is that all you need is a jump rope which means you can take your workout wherever you go.

image: thecount.com