Health risks of obesity

There is a good evidence to show that adult obesity is associated with increased risks of the following health problems:


  • Obesity is the second cause of preventable death in the world after smoking.

Metabolic and endocrine systems

  • Type 2 diabetes. 
  • High total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides with speeding up atherosclerosis. 
  • Metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of disorders including high blood glucose, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Gout.

Circulatory system

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure), which is itself a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke and renal failure.
  • Coronary heart disease and stroke.
  • Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.


  • Several cancers, including endometrial, breast and colon cancers.

Reproductive and urological problems

  • Stress incontinence in women.
  • Menstrual abnormalities, polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility. 
  • Erectile dysfunction in men.

Respiratory problem

  • Sleep apnea (interruptions to breathing while asleep) and other respiratory problems such as asthma.

Gastrointestinal and liver disease

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux.
  • Gall stones.

Musculoskeletal system

  • Strain on the body's joints, especially the knees, with increased risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Low back pain.

Psychological and social problems

  • Migraine.
  • Stress, low self-esteem, social disadvantage, depression and reduced libido.

Weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery (Bariatric surgery) is a surgical procedure performed for treatment of morbid obesity. Weight loss surgery has existed since the 1960's, having gone through significant evolution from the early days of the jejunoileal or jejunocolic bypass operations and the horizontal gastroplasty or original stomach stapling. Modern day procedures include:

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