Skip to main content
Medicine LibreTexts

4.4: Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity

  • Page ID
    13352
  • People who are overweight or obese, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions. The more body fat that you have and the more you weigh, the more likely you are to develop:

    • All causes of death (mortality)

    • High blood pressure (Hypertension)

    • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)

    • Type 2 diabetes

    • Coronary heart disease

    • Stroke

    • Gallbladder disease

    • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)

    • Sleep apnea and breathing problems

    • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)

    • Low quality of life

    • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders

    • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning

    Your weight is the result of many factors. These factors include environment, family history and genetics, metabolism (the way your body changes food and oxygen into energy), behavior or habits, and more.

    You can’t change some factors, such as family history. However, you can change other factors, such as your lifestyle habits.

    For example, follow a healthy eating plan and keep your calorie needs in mind. Be physically active and try to limit the amount of time that you’re inactive.

    As shown in the video below, it is important to remember that obesity happens one pound at a time, and even relatively small weight gains can negatively affect one’s health and well-being.

    You Tube: Obesity Happens One Pound at a Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y1MAN23FSQ)

    Licenses and Attributions

    Public domain content