Weighing too much raises your risk for certain health problems and may be linked to some emotional and social problems.
What are some health risks of being overweight or obese?
- Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. About 8 out of 10 people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity. Over time, high blood glucose leads to problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, nerve damage and other health problems. If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight and getting regular physical activity may prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
- High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a condition in which blood flows through your blood vessels with a force greater than normal. High blood pressure can strain your heart, damage blood vessels, and raise your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and death.
- Heart disease is a term used to describe several problems that may affect your heart. If you have heart disease, you may have a heart attack, heart failure, sudden cardiac death, angina or an abnormal heart rhythm. High blood pressure, abnormal levels of blood fats, and high blood glucose levels may raise your risk for heart disease. Losing 5 to 10 percent of your weight may lower your risk factors for developing heart disease. If you weigh 200 pounds, this means losing as little as 10 pounds. Weight loss may improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood flow.
- Stroke is a condition in which the blood supply to your brain is suddenly cut off, caused by a blockage or the bursting of a blood vessel in your brain or neck. A stroke can damage brain tissue and make you unable to speak or move parts of your body. High blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes.
- Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you do not breathe regularly while sleeping. You may stop breathing completely for short periods of time. Untreated sleep apnea may raise your risk of other health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that put you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. These conditions include:
- high blood pressure
- high blood glucose levels
- high triglyceride levels in your blood
- low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in your blood
- too much fat around your waist
- Fatty liver diseases are conditions in which fat builds up in your liver. Fatty liver diseases may lead to severe liver damage, cirrhosis, or even liver failure.
- Osteoarthritis is a common, long-lasting health problem that causes pain, swelling and reduced motion in your joints. Being overweight or obese can raise your risk of getting osteoarthritis by putting extra pressure on your joints and cartilage.
- Cancer is a collection of related diseases. In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues. Overweight and obesity may raise your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
- Kidney disease means your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood like they should. Obesity raises the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, the most common causes of kidney disease. Even if you don’t have diabetes or high blood pressure, obesity itself may promote kidney disease and speed its progress.
- Pregnancy problems canbe exacerbated by weighing too much. Pregnant women who are overweight or obese may have a greater chance of:
- Mental health problems, such as depression, can be caused by overweight and obesity. People who deal with overweight and obesity may also be the subject of weight bias and stigma from others, including health-care providers. This can lead to feelings of rejection, shame, or guilt—further worsening mental health problems.
According to a new study from the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 40 percent of Americans are obese. This is an increase from 30 percent in 1999. The new report, which collected information from a nationally representative survey of adults older than age 20, found:
- The obesity rate in 2017-2018 was 42.4 percent, with no big differences between men or women or by age.
- Severe obesity was 9.2 percent in 2017-2018, with more women than men falling into this category.
- The age group most affected by severe obesity was adults aged 40-59.
- Obesity and severe obesity rates were highest in black adults.