Bariatric surgery, such as gastric bypass, has usually been reserved for people who would qualify based on body mass index as morbidly obese. A body mass index of 40 or more qualifies as morbidly obese.

Newer thinking is leaning toward broadening the criteria. While a BMI of 40 or more is certainly one criteria that should be looked at seriously, many doctor believe that overweight people with health issues such as heart disease should be given consideration even if they don’t meet the BMI criteria.

A recent study indicated
that a higher BMI doesn’t necessarily mean a higher chance of heart disease than say, someone with a BMI of 30 might have. The conclusion was that bariatric surgery may be worth considering at lower BMI’s. Current guidelines suggest surgery with a BMI of 40 or more, 35 or more if there is life threatening disease already in place.

Bottom line. Obesity can be the tip of the iceberg with a host of health issues hiding beneath. Health evaluations should be taken even more seriously if you are overweight. Letting things get out of control can often be an irreversible cycle. Life insurance underwriting, while fair, does treat obesity with a deserved seriousness. Whether through bariatric surgery or diet and exercise, weight loss is seen by underwriters as taking control of your lifestyle and stopping a potential health down turn.