Morbid Obesity Criteria

Does anyone have a source they can cite for morbid obesity criteria in terms of BMI >35 with comorbid conditions? I am reading criteria is BMI >35 with 1 or more comorbid condition in some articles and then BMI >35 with a minimum of 2 comorbid conditions in other articles. I have searched the NIH and the CDC website and can't find anything concrete.


  • Hello Annmarie,

    Here is an article we published previously on this topic that may be helpful to you. Check out the links as well. -Deanne

  • Usually specific criteria for bariatric surgery guidelines are made by payers and facilities who perform it or see Who is a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery? | Patients | ASMBS.

    In my files:• Defining Morbid Obesity: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines morbid obesity as being 100 pounds or more above the ideal body weight or having a BMI of 40 or greater; or having a BMI of 35 or greater and one or more comorbid conditions.

    I also found this in my files which I believe is from 2022, but check :

    ASMBS and the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders, which represents 72 countries, convened to update the guidelines. 

    Under the new guidelines, anyone with a BMI over 35, regardless of whether they have any health problems, is eligible for weight loss surgery. People with a BMI over 30, which is the official definition of obesity, are also eligible if they have not been able to achieve substantial or long-term weight loss.

    Among individuals of Asian descent, the BMI requirement was dropped to 27.5 since they often have weight-related health issues at a lower body mass.

    In addition, children and adolescents are now eligible for surgery under the new requirements since there is now data to support the potential benefits.

Sign In or Register to comment.