Health Effects of Obesity
Some of obesity's health effects include an increased risk for a range of problems, such as diabetes, fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, stroke, and high blood pressure. The prospect of losing weight may seem daunting. However, the good news is that by losing just 5 percent of your current weight, you can reduce your risk of experiencing the dangerous effects of obesity.
It is all too common for a person to be overweight or obese (extremely overweight) in the United States. Today, nearly two-thirds of American adults (about 130 million people) are overweight or obese.
Even more concerning is that approximately 15 percent of children and adolescents are overweight, compared to just 4 percent a few decades ago, and another 15 percent are at risk for being overweight. Childhood obesity is a growing concern in today's world. An alarming number of children are obese and developing diseases normally seen in adulthood. Overweight adolescents have a greatly increased risk of dying from heart disease in adulthood. Even our youngest citizens are at risk. About 10 percent of preschoolers weigh more than is healthy for them.
Weighing too much may increase your risk for developing many health problems. If your body mass index (BMI) indicates that you are overweight or obese, you may be at risk for many of obesity's health effects. These include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)
- Certain cancers
- Sleep apnea
- Gallbladder disease and gallstones
- Fatty liver disease (also called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Psychological and emotional effects.
The good news is that you can lower your health risks by losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds.