Health Risks of Overweight & Obesity

Overweight and Obesity-Related Health Problems in Adults Being overweight or obese is not a cosmetic problem. It greatly raises the risk in adults for many diseases and conditions.

Risk to Cardio Fitness

This condition occurs when a fatty material called plaque builds up on the inside walls of the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to your heart). Plaque narrows the coronary arteries, which reduces blood flow to the heart. Chances for having heart disease and a heart attack get higher as body mass index (BMI) increases. Obesity also can lead to congestive heart failure, a serious condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet body’s needs.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

This condition occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries is too high. Chances for having high blood pressure are greater among overweight / obese. Stroke. Being overweight or obese can lead to a buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries that form a blood clot. If the clot is close to the brain, it can block the flow of blood and oxygen and cause a stroke. The risk of having a stroke rises as BMI increases.

Type2 Diabetes

This is a disease in which blood sugar levels are too high. Normally, the body makes insulin, to move the blood sugar into cells where it is used. In type 2 diabetes, the cells do not respond enough to the insulin that is made. Diabetes is a leading cause of early death, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness. More than 80 percent of people with type2 diabetes are found to be overweight.

Abnormal Blood Fats

Overweight or obese, have a greater chance of having abnormal levels of blood fats. These include high amounts of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (a fat-like substance often called “bad” cholesterol), and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (often called “good” cholesterol). Abnormal levels of these blood fats are a risk for heart disease.

Metabolic Syndrome

This is the name for a group of risk factors linked to overweight and obesity that raise the chance for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and stroke. A person can develop any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. Metabolic syndrome occurs when a person has at least three of these heart disease risk factors:-

  • Having extra fat in the waist area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than having extra fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
  • Abnormal blood fat levels, including high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol.
  • Higher than normal blood pressure.
  • Higher than normal fasting blood sugar levels.


Being overweight or obese raises the risk for cancers of a large intestine, breast, uterus, and gallbladder.


This is a common joint problem of the knees, hips, and lower back, which occurs when the tissue that protects the joints wears away. Extra weight can put more pressure and wear on joints, causing pain.

Sleep Apnea

This condition causes a person to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. A person with sleep apnea may have more fat stored around the neck. This can make the breathing airway smaller so that it is hard to breathe.

Reproductive Problems

Obesity can cause menstrual irregularity and infertility in women.


People who are overweight or obese have a greater chance of having gallstones. Also, being overweight may result in an enlarged gallbladder that may not work properly.