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Bariatric Terms & Definitions

Body Mass Index (BMI): estimates how much you should weigh, based on your height.


  • Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
  • Divide that answer by your height in inches.
  • Divide that answer by your height in inches again.

For example, a woman who weighs 270 pounds and is 68 inches tall has a BMI of 41.0.

Use the chart below to see what category your BMI falls into, and whether you need to be concerned about your weight.


Below 18.5

18.5 - 24.9

25.0 - 29.9

30.0 - 39.9

Over 40





Morbidly obese

BMI is not always an accurate way to determine whether you need to lose weight. People who are unusually muscular may have a high BMI. And, it is often better for the elderly to have a BMI between 25 and 27. Those older than 65, for example, may benefit from a slightly higher BMI as protection from osteoporosis.

Obesity: Obesity is a term used to describe body weight that is much greater than what is considered healthy. If you are obese, you have a much higher amount of body fat than is healthy or desirable.

Laparoscopic gastric banding: surgery to help with weight loss. The surgeon places a band around the upper part of your stomach to create a small pouch to hold food. The band limits the amount of food you can eat by making you feel full after eating small amounts of food.

Gastric bypass surgery: surgery that is done to help you lose weight. After the surgery, you will not be able to eat as much as before, and your body will not absorb all the calories from the food you eat. This is also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass


Dumping syndrome: occurs when the contents of the stomach empty too quickly into the small intestine. The partially digested food draws excess fluid into the small intestine causing nausea, cramping, diarrhea, sweating, faintness, and palpitations. Dumping usually occurs after the consumption of too much simple or refined sugar in people who have had surgery to modify or remove all or part of the stomach.


Let the new you take shape!

For more information about medical weight loss at Rex Healthcare, call (919) 784-SLIM or 1-877-DOWNLBS.