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Healthy Weight

The Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity

People who are obese, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including the following:1,2,3

  • All-causes of death (mortality)
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
  • Low quality of life
  • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders4,5
  • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning6

For more information about these and other health problems associated with overweight and obesity, visit Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults.

Want to learn more?

What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity?
Learn about the risks for adults from many diseases and conditions, by National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH).

Weight Loss - American Diabetes Association*
Did you know that nearly 9 out of 10 people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes are overweight? If you are overweight, losing some weight could help you better manage your diabetes.

CDC's Obesity and Overweight
Obesity trends, economic consequences, state-based programs and other resources for the health professional.

*Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher; obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.


References

1NHLBI. 2013. Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adults: Systematic Evidence Review from the Obesity Expert Panel. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/sites/www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/obesity-evidence-review.pdf

2Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/guidelines/ob_gdlns.pdf

3Bhaskaran K, Douglas I, Forbes H, dos-Santos-Silva I, Leon DA, Smeeth L. Body-mass index and risk of 22 specific cancers: a population-based cohort study of 5•24 million UK adults. Lancet. 2014 Aug 30;384(9945):755-65. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60892-8. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

4Kasen, Stephanie, et al. "Obesity and psychopathology in women: a three decade prospective study." International Journal of Obesity 32.3 (2008): 558-566.

5Luppino, Floriana S., et al. "Overweight, obesity, and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies."Archives of general psychiatry 67.3 (2010): 220-229.

6Roberts, Robert E., et al. "Prospective association between obesity and depression: evidence from the Alameda County Study." International journal of obesity 27.4 (2003): 514-521.

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