Health Problems Associated with Being Overweight

It seems as though everywhere we look these days there are articles, studies, ads, and other pieces of information that are encouraging us to lose weight. As much as this may seem as though the world has become a place wrought with vanity, there are some very practical reasons for wanting to lose weigh beyond trying to achieve a certain appearance. The fact is that being obese or overweight can lead to a significant number of health problems, including increasing the risk of some very dangerous health conditions.

Losing weight, even as little as 10 to 20 pounds, can drastically reduce your chances of developing some types of life-threatening conditions and diseases.

Losing weight, even as little as 10 to 20 pounds, can reduce your chances of developing some life-threatening conditions and diseases.

For example, among the scariest figures, being overweight increases your chances of developing some forms of cancer. It also significantly increases your odds of developing diabetes and heart disease – by far the largest killer among all diseases.

Studies have shown that the area in which you carry your excess weight can be a sign of how at risk you are for developing health problems associated with being overweight or obese. Visceral fat located around the abdomen area typically poses a much greater risk of cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance than fat stored in any other area of the body. Among women, a waistline of over thirty five inches means that there is an increased risk of these diseases, while it is a waistline of forty inches or more for men.

This being said, research performed by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has shown that carrying too much weight on the body can significantly increase the risk of dying prematurely. The more a person is overweight, the more their chances of dying early increase. Even being overweight by as moderate an amount as ten to twenty pounds can increase a person’s risk of a reduced life span by fifty to one hundred percent.

Similar studies have shown that overweight and obese people suffer a much higher risk of sudden cardiac death, heart attack, congestive heart failure, chest pains, and angina. An overweight person is twice as likely to have high blood pressure as a person in his or her healthy body weight, and obese people are three times more likely to have high cholesterol and/or high triglycerides (also known as dyslipidemia) and low levels of good cholesterol.

Strokes are also much more frequent among people who are obese and overweight due to the narrowing of the arteries – called atherosclerosis – which can cause arterial blood clots to form. These clots are considered to be a pre-condition that occurs ahead of several kinds of strokes. This situation is made even worse when the obese or overweight person smokes, already has high blood pressure, leads a sedentary lifestyle, or has high cholesterol.

To summarize, health problems associated with being overweight or obese include:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Some types of cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Insulin resistance
  • Liver and Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gynecological problems (including abnormal menses and infertility)

As you can see, there is a number of serious health problems associated with being overweight and obese. Losing weight to reduce your chances of developing one or more of these diseases in your lifetime, combined with the fact that you will have more energy and feel healthier, is all you should need to get motivated to make some changes. If you are not sure if you are overweight then start by calculating your body mass index using the BMI Calculator. This will give you an estimate of whether the amount of body fat you have is at a healthy level or should be reduced. Here’s to good health and long life.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Diet Changes that Lower Cholesterol”, “Foods that Improve Heart Health”, “Link Between Breast Cancer and Obesity” and “Health Conditions that Cause Weight Gain”.

3 comments to Health Problems Associated with Being Overweight

  • brandi

    I have to say there is quiet a few health problems out there that can be caused from being overweight. I think that a really bad one would be the heart problems and high blood pressure.

  • Todd29

    No one wants to be overweight, and everyone who is overweight has some type of complaint. The best way to lose weight and to become healthier is to take responsibility for yourself! Our health is our most important asset. For many people, being overweight is associated with being uncomfortable in their own skin. To assist with weight control; keep a daily food journal and every time the urge to snack is felt, first drink a large glass of clear water. This simple act will help you to eat less. Water hydrates you, suppresses your appetite, helps you to feel full, and metabolizes fat cells. Water will soon become one of your best friends. The major reason so many people in America are overweight is because we eat too much for comfort! It does not hurt to treat ourselves with something special once in a while, what is necessary is that we limit our portions and do not overeat! It is also necessary to keep our body properly hydrated, so drink a full glass of water with each meal or snack. Being overweight ******, but after reading a book, I lost 85 pounds! Words can not express how good I feel! This is a comment which I recently received about the book Lose Weight Using Four Easy Steps

  • tom

    This is a well-detailed article – cool stuff. In order to lower obesity rates and jump start my own weight loss, I have been using an online BMI calculator from a weight loss website called The BMI calculator is a great way to calculate your body mass and percentage of fat and jump start your workouts to lower your body fat and/or increase your muscle size. Breaking it down for people looking to enhance their weight loss is a great idea; it helps me comprehend the topic a little better (which is good right?)

    Thanks for your community contribution, I appreciate it 😀

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