The Health Risks of Obesity

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Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it’s a very serious health issue as well. It is possible that you are here today reading this because you are, or have been, concerned about your physical appearance.

Yet, losing weight isn’t just about looking better, it is about feeling better; being healthy and living a productive and enjoyable life. Additionally, it is about avoiding the serious health consequences of carrying around too much weight.

There is mounting evidence demonstrating that overweight people have an increased risk of developing serious health problems, such as cardiac disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer, gout (joint pain caused by excess uric acid), and gallbladder disease, among others. Additionally, being overweight can also lead to other issues such as osteoarthritis (wearing away of the joints) and sleep apnea (interrupted breathing during sleep); with the more overweight one is, the increased likelihood that one will have these health problems.

While bariatric surgery can assist with the weight loss, it is important that understand that a complete lifestyle change is needed for successful and sustained weight loss. For that reason, when looking for a bariatric surgeon, you should really be looking for a team of professionals that can guide you in your weight loss journey. Their support will be important in this process of changing completely your


Heart Disease and Stroke

For most of the world, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability both for men and women. Obese and overweight people are more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high tryglycerides (blood fats), all major risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

The good news is that reducing your weight even just by 10% can dramatically reduce your chances of developing heart disease or a stroke as well as reduce your blood pressure as well as reduce the levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides


Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type of diabetes in the US and it is closely linked to excess weight and obesity. In fact, overweight people are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes diminishes the body’s ability to manage blood sugars and is a principle cause of early death, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and blindness.

Simply by losing weight and increasing your physical activity, one can reduce the risk of developing this type of diabetes. Furthermore, those that already have type 2 diabetes, can better control their blood sugar levels by losing weight and becoming more physically active. This may could make it possible for your doctor to decrease the amount of your medications.


Several types of cancer are associated with obesity. Overweight men are at an increased risk of developing colon, rectum, and prostate cancer, while women are at an increased risk of developing cancer of the uterus, gallbladder, cervix, ovary, breast, and colon.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea, a condition where a person stops breathing for short periods during sleep and to snore heavily, is a serious condition linked with being overweight. Additionally, this condition can cause daytime sleepiness and in extreme cases the onset of symptoms of heart failure. The risk for sleep apnea increases with higher body weights but typically is reversed with weight loss.


Osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder, is most often seen in the knees, hips, and lower back. Extra weight increases the likelihood of osteoarthritis by placing extra stress on these joints, causing increased wear and tear of the cartilage (the joint’s cushions). Weight loss decreases some of this stress on these joints helping improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.


Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood that sometimes forms into crystal masses in the joints, causing severe pain. This condition is more common in overweight people and the risk increases with increased body weight.

Gallbladder Disease

Gallstones are more common in people who are overweight and the risk increases as weight increases. While it is not yet completely clear why, it is believed to be related to changes in how fat and cholesterol are handled by the body


It is clear that obesity and excess weight come with many health risks that can be addressed by losing some weight and changing your lifestyle. Simply losing as little as 5% to 10% of your body weight can improve many of the problems discussed.

The safest way to lose weight is to shed about 1-2 pounds per week through diet and exercise. Rapid weight loss can cause more muscle loss than fat loss. Also rapid weight loss can increase the risk of developing other problems, such as gallstones, gout, and nutrient deficiencies.

Making and sticking to long-term changes in eating and physical activity habits is by far the best and healthiest way to lose weight and keep it off.

Staff @ MexicaliMedicalGuide
April 8, 2013

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