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Dangerous Obesity Health Risks

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 6 12

If you are severely overweight, there are several obesity health risks of which you should be aware.  All of them can be serious, and all of them can lead to a less than fulfilling lifestyle.  Obesity in adults is determined by the Body Mass Index, or BMI, and is defined as a BMI of 30 or greater.[1725]  While the Body Mass Index is not always a perfect way to decide if a person is overweight or obese, it is generally a good clue as to whether or not a person is at an increased risk of obesity-related health problems.  The obesity health risks in this article are predominantly for adults, but children can experience many of these same issues.

Obesity Health Risk #1 - Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not effectively use insulin to turn sugar into energy.  This leaves too much sugar in the blood stream and can lead to organ damage and failure.  Type 2 Diabetes has a strong genetic link, but unlike Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes can be managed by eating healthier, losing weight, and living a more active lifestyle.  The symptoms of diabetes are much the same in both types of the disease, however.

Obesity Health Risk #2 - Gallstones

Gallstones form when cholesterol and other items in the bile (created in the gall bladder) form stones.  Many people do not realize they even have gallstones, but when the stones block a bile duct, pain, fever, and chills begin to develop.  Eventually the pancreas can become swollen.  To reduce the health risk associated with gallstones, it is important to decrease the cholesterol intake into the body.

Obesity Health Risk #3 - High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, has many causes, and obesity is one of them.  Hypertension is when the force of blood against the artery walls are too strong.  This can result in a heart attack or stroke, as well as damaged organs.  Prescription drugs can help reduce the risks associated with high blood pressure, as can a healthier diet.

Obesity Health Risk #4 - High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat that we all need in order to survive.  However, a diet that is too high in fat and cholesterol can lead to heart disease and stroke.  A healthier diet and a more active lifestyle can help keep cholesterol levels down to acceptable levels and avoid obesity and its associated risks.

Obesity Health Risk #5 - Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is when a person does not breathe properly during sleep.  In some cases, breathing can stop completely.  Sleep apnea can be caused by obesity, and can--like all the other risks on this page--lead to a stroke. 

Obesity Health Risk #6 - Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary Heart Disease, or CAD, results from the buildup of plaque on the arterial walls.  This plaque is caused by excess cholesterol and other substances that slowly accumulate in the blood stream.  Eventually, this plaque buildup will reduce the proper flow of blood through the body and can result in heart attack and stroke.

Obesity Health Risk #7 - Stroke

If you haven't figured it out by now, all of the obesity health risks eventually lead up to a stroke.  A stroke is caused by a restriction of blood flow to the brain.  An unhealthy diet combined with a lack of physical activity results in less blood flow than normal, and when that affects the brain, a stroke occurs.  So while a stroke is definitely a risk associated with being overweight, in many cases it is the ultimate risk that all of the others lead to.

What to do to Lower the Risks of Obesity

In some cases, obesity is determined from birth.  Some people simply have trouble keeping weight off.  However, a healthy diet low in fat combined with an active lifestyle can severely reduce the dangerous obesity health risks.



Jan 22, 2012 6:30am
Good article! Your presentation of the risks involved with obesity is straight forward, therefore, making it more powerful. Thanks for reminding all of us to improve our lifestyle. Good choice for a feature!
Jan 22, 2012 6:41am
Always refreshing to read something so common and yet always disregarded. Thanks for writing about it!
Jan 22, 2012 7:42am
It isn't that we haven't heard all the risks of being overweight before, but this article sums it up nicely in an easy reading format. Thanks for the good work!
Jan 22, 2012 10:38pm
Thanks everyone for the kind words.
Jan 22, 2012 10:47pm
Congratulations on your article being featured. It is forthright and easy-to-read. Nicely done.
Jan 24, 2012 3:15pm
Thanks for sharing these risks with us. Knowledge is your greatest ally when battling a disease like obesity. Knowledge coupled with action will produce change.
Jan 25, 2012 8:54pm
Your mention of BMI at the beginning of the article hits home for me. While my body mass is above 30, according to Wii Fit, my body build and height speak differently. Still, my risks are increased for heart disease and diabetes thanks to family history. Needless to say, listen to your what your body is telling you before it's too late.
Jan 26, 2012 2:21am
Great Article, but I'm with you on your "less than perfect" description of the Body Mass Index. It's a guideline, but only a guideline - I hate how insurance companies and such are using it as the end all, be all of health assesments. At 220 and low teens for body fat percentage, I like to think I'm not morbidly obese like the charts say; I can easily run a mile in less than 8 minutes without breathing hard, can bench press my body weight for several reps and can still run the 40 in under 5 seconds.

Blah blah blah, I'm ranting again... the point is (I did have a point, I swear) was that this is a GREAT article, really good job putting this one together :)
Jan 26, 2012 10:12am
Fantastic content. Sad to see what our country has become, especially the childhood obesity problems.
Jan 27, 2012 11:40am
You know - the idea that a high fat diet makes people fat....is TOTALLY WRONG. It's a high carbohydrate diet that makes someone fat.
Apr 13, 2013 3:54pm
Obseity is a shortcut to early death.
Jun 5, 2013 10:29am
Good stuff! Another health risk is depression. In fact, as someone who is quite vain in many circumstances, I would say that a person's ability to attract others is their number one asset when it comes to leading a healthy life. If you know no one wants to be seen with you. If you know no one is attracted to you, that is a catalyst for depression. Forget about all the other health factors. We all know why we stay healthy....and it isn't much to do with actually living longer.
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  1. "Defining Overweight and Obesity." Defining Overweight and Obesity. 21/12/2011 <Web >

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