Obesity Health Risks

Obesity is in the news again and that is because it is more than a surface issue; it is an international, detrimental health risk.

Obese individuals are at higher risk of premature death as opposed to average-weight individuals.


Obesity is linked to numerous acute health risks among them:    

  • ·       Diabetes   
  • ·       High B.P
  • ·       Stroke/Heart disease
  • ·       Gallbladder disease and gallstones
  • ·       Cancer
  • ·       Sleep apnea    

Doctors unanimously consent with the fact that the more obese an individual is, the higher their risk to health problems. Individuals who are overweight may benefit from numerous health benefits by losing excess weight.

Many doctors recommend that anyone who is slightly above their normal weight limit (20 %) ought to work on shedding off excess weight particularly if they exhibit the following risk factors:    

Chronic ailments family history:

Individuals whose family has a previous history of diabetes or heart disease should be cautious since they are susceptible to developing these conditions especially if overweight.    

Pre-existent ailments:

High cholesterol levels of cholesterol, as well as blood sugar, or even high B.P are among various signs that can hint obesity-related diseases.   

 "Apple" shapes:

Individual whose weight is mainly concentrated just around the tummy might be at a higher risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, as well as cancer compared to other individuals of similar weight but who are otherwise ‘pear’ shaped (weight is concentrated more on their butt and hips).    

Fortunately, even the slightest loss of weight can inspire substantial health improvements like bringing down the cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

So here are some of the most common health risks of obesity:    

•  Stroke and Heart Disease     

Stroke as well as heart disease rank as among the most prominent causes of disability and even death for individuals in the USA. Obese individuals are more likely to suffer from high B.P, which is a significant risk factor for stroke as well as heart disease.    

Significantly high cholesterol levels may also result in heart disease not to mention it is often associated with obesity. Being overweight is also a primary contributor to angina (pain in the chest resulting from reduced oxygen to the heart.) as well as suddenly succumbing to stroke or heart disease without any symptoms or signs.     Luckily, shedding off a little weight can bring down your chances of developing stroke or heart disease. Cutting down your weight even by the slightest of percentages can bring down your chances of heart disease development.    

•  Diabetes  

 Type 2 diabetes compromises the ability of your body to regulate blood sugar. Diabetes is a significant contributor to heart disease, blindness, stroke, as well as early death. Overweight individuals are twice more susceptible to developing diabetes (type 2) as opposed to healthy weight individuals. To diminish your chances of getting diabetes, you should exercise more and lose some excess weight.      Alternatively, if you already have diabetes, shedding excess weight as well as getting in shape can help in regulating levels of blood sugar. Furthermore, boosting your overall physical activity can similarly help you minimize the diabetes medication you are taking.    

•  Cancer    

There are various types of cancers linked to obesity. For women, uterus, cervix, gallbladder, colon, breast,  and ovary cancers are among the most prominent. As for men, they are susceptible to prostrate, and colorectal cancer.   

 •  Sleep Apnea    

This is an adverse breathing condition that is closely allied to obesity. This ailment can lead to heavy snoring not to mention a person stopping to breathe for short time frames during their sleep. Moreover, sleep apnea can also cause daytime sleepiness as well as heart failure.     Susceptibility to sleep apnea goes synonymously with the increase in body weight. Therefore, weight loss alleviates sleep apnea.    


While there are numerous health risks and risk factors associated with obesity, the good news, however, is that you can regulate them by changing your lifestyle. If you are suffering from obesity, you can benefit from a weight-loss program from your physician. With an objective of shedding between 5 and 10% of your present body weight, you can effectively reduce your risk of developing any obesity-related health risk.    

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Source Links:   

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000348.htm    https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/health_risks_associated_with_obesity


Obesity is a Global Issue

Obesity is undeniably a global epidemic.

Not only is the global population expanding in figures, but apparently also in weight! Since 1980, statistics indicate that obesity rates have more than doubled and are still rising.

A WHO (World Health Organization) global report outlines that in 2014; about 600 million individuals were obese with about 1.9 billion adults being overweight.

Naturally, industrialised nations featured among the affected with countries such as Qatar having 42 % of its population (adult) being obese, Kuwait (40 %), Northern Ireland (28 %), England (28 %), USA (38 %), and France (24 %). Astoundingly, the obesity issue is not just with adults, but with children too. 

This is predominantly evidenced by the 2013 figures where about 42 million youngsters aged 5 and below tested positive for obesity/overweight. What’s even more shocking is that it is not industrialised nations that lead the group anymore. Compared to high-income nations, developing ones have a rise of over 30% in child obesity rates.

In fact, between 1990 and 2014, the number of obese and overweight kids below five years shot up from 5.4 million to 10.3 million. And according to the WHO, if the trend remains as is, over 70 million infants will either be obese or overweight by 2025. 

Reasons behind the escalating Obesity figures: 

One primary reason for the surging numbers is the rapidly changing lifestyles across the globe further fueled by the easier accessibility of unhealthy food options. Currently, there are over 700,000 fast food joints globally. Moreover, the improvement of technology and the ensuing reliance on its products like computers and cars have inspired a typically sedentary lifestyle. Additionally, lack of education also contributes to the high numbers both in industrialized and developing countries. 

Consequences of Obesity: 

Obesity is a key contributor to chronic cardiovascular diseases, stroke, Type 2 diabetes as well as some cancers. Obesity results in the build-up of fat in the body arteries, and narrowing of vessels, therefore leading to minimized blood flow to the heart – a condition usually associated with heart attacks.

An increase in diabetes mortality rate was witnessed rising from a million deaths (2000) to about 1.5 million (2012). Isn’t diabetes among the consequence of obesity? 

What measures are nations taking to manage Obesity? 

Evidently, obesity is a major issue affecting all nations of the world. Nonetheless, with proper strategies and policies, the trend can change. Most nations have come up with a national strategy to regulate obesity following WHO recommendations. These plans are designed to promote healthier dieting and food production and include appropriate and targeted domestic subsidies.

The UK, for instance, has imposed a sugar tax in 2018 to help tackle the obesity issue. Similarly, in the U.S for instance, in 2010, former President Obama set up an exclusive taskforce for Childhood Obesity Prevention which brought about an actionable strategy to reverse Obesity. In extension, he also signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act’ into law which included healthier school meals standards.

In Mexico, the Congress passed into law a tax on high-calorie foods and soft drinks, while Ecuador’s Health Ministry produced processed foods labelling regulations. Most notably, Norway used a combination of price manipulations, food subsidies, public education targeting individuals, and retail regulations to successfully turn its population to relying on energy dense, high-fat diets. 


With Obesity rapidly spreading globally, there is a need to find actionable strategies aimed at reducing and ultimately eradicating this otherwise preventable condition. Each sector in the society plays a significant part in not only promoting healthier lifestyles but also establishing an atmosphere for sustained change where optimistically, Globesity’ will someday be controlled. 

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