5 Health Risks Linked to Obesity

Obesity is the term characterized by abnormal or excessive fat accumulation which may have a negative effect on a person’s health. People are said to be obese when they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. This measure is strongly correlated with various metabolic and disease outcomes. It makes people more likely to have health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, high blood pressure etc.

Here’s a closer look at five conditions that are linked to being obese or overweight:

Heart disease and stroke

Extra weight makes you more likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. These conditions make heart disease or stroke more likely. Losing a small amount of weight has been shown to lower the risk.

Type 2 Diabetes

Most people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight. Losing weight, eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep can cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Losing weight and becoming more physical can help control your blood sugar levels if you have type 2 diabetes.

Some cancers

Cancers of the colon, breast (after menopause), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), kidney and esophagus are linked to obesity. Some studies have also reported links between obesity and cancers of the gallbladder, ovaries, and pancreas.


Osteoarthritis is a common joint condition that most often affects the knee, hip, or back. The extra pounds from obesity places extra pressure on these joints and wears away the cartilage that normally protects them. Weight loss often reduces the risk of osteoarthritis.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a breathing condition that’s linked to being overweight. Sleep apnea can cause a person to snore heavily and to briefly stop breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea may cause daytime sleepiness and make heart disease and stroke more likely. Weight loss often improves sleep apnea.

Not every obese person has these problems. If the extra weight is mostly around your stomach, that may be riskier than if the extra weight is mostly around your hips and buttocks. The risk rises if you have a family history of one of those conditions.

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