Health risks of Obesity and how worried should we be?

Obesity is a treatable condition and a worldwide health concern in which a person has a harmful amount of body fat or an unhealthy distribution of body fat. Obesity is caused by genetics and environmental factors and can be difficult to control.

Obesity raises the risk of several serious health complications since excess body fat puts a strain on bones and organs. This could lead to a complex changes in hormones, metabolism and increased inflammation in the body.

Obesity is determined by having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher and it is based on your height and weight.

When you are obese, there is a greater risk that you could develop health problems. Here are health-related risks of obesity and what you can do to prevent or manage it.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes develops when your body becomes resistant to insulin, though genetics plays a factor in acquiring type 2 diabetes, one of the biggest contributing factors is weight. Other health issues like heart disease, nerve damage, stroke, kidney disease, and vision problems can also be associated with obesity.

Getting regular exercise and controlling sugar intake can help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Heart disease and Stroke

When you have more than the prescribed fatty deposits or high cholesterol it can cause plaque build up in your arteries, increase risk of heart disease. Narrow arteries can lead to a heart attack and blood clots which results to a stroke. 

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is completely shut down. Stroke  can cause damage to brain tissue, resulting in a range of disabilities, including speech and language impairment, weakened muscles, and changes the ability to thinking and reasoning skills.

Learn more about Cholesterol in our previous post.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing will stop and starts during sleep. When you are overweight, fat stored around the neck will make the airway shrink, making it difficult for the person to breath while sleeping.

Losing weight will decrease the amount of fat in the neck and lower the risk of sleep apnea.

High blood pressure

Blood vessels will need to work twice as hard to circulate blood when you have extra fat tissue.  Your heart works hard to pump blood around the body adding extra pressure on the walls of your arteries. 

We shared more information about Hypertension previously in our blog. 

Liver and gallbladder disease

Obese people can develop fatty liver disease or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Presence of excess fat will damage the liver or cause scar tissue to grow, known as cirrhosis. Usually, fatty liver disease shows no symptoms and will lead to liver failure in no specific time. Losing weight and avoiding drinking alcohol will help manage the disease.

Gallstones are formed when the amount of cholesterol in the bile is high and builds up. Obese people can have higher levels of cholesterol in their bile and resulting a gallbladder that doesn’t function appropriately. It is best to eat a high in fiber diet and healthy fats, avoid refined grains like bread and pasta.

Pregnancy complications

When a mother is pregnant and obese, it increases the risk of various pregnancy complications during pregnancy and after delivery:

  • Miscarriage
  • premature birth
  • stillbirth
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • gestational diabetes
  • preeclampsia
  • needing a cesarean delivery (C-section)
  • blood clots
  • heavier bleeding than normal after delivery
  • defects of the brain and spinal cord


A study shows that most obese people suffer from depression and have the highest risk of falling victim to it. Depression and obesity are both chronic conditions that will require long-term care since most obese people often discriminated due to their body size and will lead to a lack of self-worth and sadness. 

Lowering the risk

Maintaining a healthy weight can lower the risk of these health conditions. A change of lifestyle and your consistency to making healthy choices will go a long way.

Small changes to improve health:

  • Filling your plate with vegetables
  • Eating lean sources of protein, rich in fiber food
  • Avoiding sugary, fried food or fast food
  • Avoiding alcohol

Adults with extreme obesity can have shortened life expectancy and can affect both physical and mental health. Therefore, managing your total health can prevent you from any complications.

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