The long term complications of obesity

Introduction and background

Today, obesity has now become a major burden for the society, affecting both the young and old? It has been estimated that one in 5 adults are overweight and one in 15 adults are obese in the U.K alone. More obese a person is, the more likely he or she is to develop long term health risks. However, it is still an often neglected subject in the discussions forwarded by various weight loss support groups. With the advent of information technology and internet, most slimming reviews send out very strong messages about ideal beauty and body weight, encouraging young girls and women to constantly diet and exercise until they attain a fit, thin body. What they often don’t mention are the complications that obesity could lead to. This puts them at risk for developing some of the following complications:


According to International Diabetes Foundation, diabetes and obesity are the biggest public health challenge of the 21st century. Interestingly but unfortunately, weight increase of 11-18 pounds raises a person’s risk of developing diabetes to twice that of individuals who have not gained weight. For the same reason, over 80 percent of people with diabetes are overweight or obese. Your sedentary lifestyle and the popularity of high fat, high energy diets (think “Super Size Me”) and convenient foods, all are known to lead to obesity and have also found to be indirectly linked with diabetes.


Heart disease

Obesity is almost always associated with high fats in your blood. The need of time is that most slimming reviews should let the audience know that obesity is frequently associated with a high-fat diet and raised blood pressure and hence, gradually, it can lead to narrowing of the arteries. This may lead to the formation of blood clots in your arteries and when this occurs, a patient gets stroke (paralysis) or a heart attack. Likewise, high blood pressure is also twice as common in adults who are obese than in those who are at a healthy weight.


Arthritis refers to the inflammation of joints of our body. Common types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. For every 2-pound increase in weight, the risk of developing arthritis is increased by 9 to 13%. Symptoms of arthritis can improve with weight loss.


Breathing problems

Just imagine, for a moment, how snoring can affect your relationships. The main cause of snoring has been found to be linked with breathing difficulty. Hence if you are obese, you could also develop difficulty in breathing during sleep which will eventually result in frequent snoring and would severely affect your social life. Also, obesity significantly enhances one’s risks for developing asthma and severe bronchitis.



Overweight and obesity are associated with an increased risk for some types of cancer including endometrial (cancer of the lining of the uterus), colon, gall bladder, prostate, kidney, and postmenopausal breast cancer. It is believed that women gaining more than 20 pounds from age 18 to midlife double their risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, compared to women whose weight remains stable.


Premature (early) death

An estimated 300,000 deaths per year may be attributable to obesity and it is now well established that the risk of death rises with increasing weight. Experts believe that even moderate weight excess (10 to 20 pounds for a person of average height) increases the risk of death, particularly among adults aged 30 to 64 years. Similarly, individuals who are obese (BMI > 30) have a 50 to 100% increased risk of premature death from all causes, compared to individuals with a healthy weight.


Complications related with pregnancy

Obesity during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of death in both the baby and the mother and increases the risk of maternal high blood pressure by 10 times. In addition to many other complications, women who are obese during pregnancy are more likely to have gestational diabetes and problems with labor and delivery. Infants born to women who are obese during pregnancy are more likely to be high birth weight and, therefore, may face a higher rate of Cesarean section delivery and low blood sugar (which can be associated with brain damage and seizures). Obesity during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of birth defects, particularly neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.


Other problems

Obesity, if left untreated, is also a strong risk factor for bone and joint disease (osteoarthritis), as the risk of osteoarthritis increases with every 2-pound gain in weight. Similarly, the risk of developing gallstones is about 3 times greater for obese patients than in non-obese people.
With all these above-mentioned risks associated with obesity, here’s really good news for you, that is, losing a small amount of weight can significantly reduce your chances of developing various complications. In fact, weight loss, as modest as 5 to 15% of total body weight in a person who is overweight or obese, reduces the risk factors for some diseases, particularly heart disease. Weight loss can also result in lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and improved cholesterol levels.



Finally, do remember that knowledge is the best weight loss support you can get as you continue your weight loss journey. Therefore, the more you know, the better it gets. One of the best ways of safely and effectively controlling your obesity or overweight is using a recommended appetite suppressant which would not only make you feel fuller but will also satiate your desire to eat more. As a result you will eat less and expend more, all leading to weight loss and fat burning effect.