Consequences of Obesity
Obesity is a health hazard.
Approximately 280,000 adult deaths in the United States each year are
related to obesity. Several serious medical conditions have been linked to
obesity, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure,
and stroke. Obesity is also linked to higher rates of certain types of
cancer. Obese men are more likely than non-obese men to die from cancer of
the colon, rectum, or prostate. Obese women are more likely than non-obese
women to die from cancer of the gallbladder, breast, uterus, cervix, or
Other diseases and health
problems linked to obesity include:
- Gallbladder disease and gallstones.
- Liver disease.
- Osteoarthritis, a disease in which the
joints deteriorate. This is possibly the result of excess weight on
- Gout, another disease affecting the
- Pulmonary (breathing) problems,
including sleep apnea in which a person can stop breathing for a short
time during sleep.
- Reproductive problems in women,
including menstrual irregularities and infertility.
Health care providers generally
agree that the more obese a person is, the more likely he or she is to
develop health problems.
and social effects
Emotional suffering may be one
of the most painful parts of obesity. American society emphasizes physical
appearance and often equates attractiveness with slimness, especially for
women. Such messages make overweight people feel unattractive.
Many people think that obese
individuals are gluttonous, lazy, or both, even though this is not true.
As a result, obese people often face prejudice or discrimination in the
job market, at school, and in social situations. Feelings of rejection,
shame, or depression are common.
Source: National Institutes of
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