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What are the Complications of Obesity?


What are the Complications of Obesity?

Health and Nutrition

The number of people who are overweight and obese has been increasing at an alarming rate globally in the past few decades. A person is categorized under the class of obese when the body mass index (BMI) is ≥ 30. Globally obesity has tripled since 1975. In the year 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, were overweight. Among these over 650 million were obese.

Complications of obesity

As the number of obese people increased worldwide, the number of people affected by complications arising because of obesity also increased. The complications received a lot of interest from researchers. Some of the obesity-related complications are diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer.

Type 2 Diabetes

Most people who are diabetic are obese. As the number of obese people is rising at a frightening rate the number of diabetic people is also increasing. It was found that if the risk of diabetes is 8% among normal weight people the risk increased to 43 % in people with morbid obesity.

It was concluded that the risk of diabetes increased with increasing body weight. It is very clear that obesity leads to impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes because of the development of insulin resistance.

Heart disease

From research conducted there is undisputable data which shows that there is an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) in people who are obese. With an increase in one unit of BMI the risk of ischaemic heart disease increased by 9 %. Obesity plays an important role in the onset of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Because of obesity certain structural and functional changes of the heart occur that may lead to heart failure.


Research has shown that obesity accounts for about 20% of all cancer cases. There is evidence that there exists a relation between obesity and certain types of cancers such as gallbladder, esophagus (adenocarcinoma), thyroid, kidney, uterus, colon, and breast. Other cancers related to obesity are endometrial, colorectal, postmenopausal breast, prostate, and renal.



Obesity especially visceral obesity has been associated with rise in cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). There was also a decrease in good cholesterol or high-density lipoproteins (HDL).  Weight reduction has been shown to reduce the levels of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol.


Obesity is a risk factor for the development of hypertension. Not only BMI but also waist circumference was shown to be associated with hypertension. Obesity is a risk factor for hypertension in adults and children. The risk is three times higher in obese children compared to non-obese children. In adults, it was seen that the reduction of weight results in the lowering of blood pressure.


It strikes when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones deteriorates over time. Obesity is a risk factor for osteoarthritis. Because of the chronic strain on weight-bearing joints osteoarthritis sets in.

Other obesity-related problems are gout, sleep apnoea, gall bladder problems, and several other issues. It is important to be in the ideal weight zone and prevent obesity. Eat a balanced diet and ensure that you are getting adequate physical activity.

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