It is a common misconception that obesity is simply a cosmetic problem, but in actual fact the condition can cause a number of very serious health complications that can have a long-term effect on your general health. Obesity is associated with a number of cardiovascular problems and cancers, as well as chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy weight is a key aspect of healthy living, and even being slightly overweight can increase your susceptibility to certain health problems. Knowing your body mass index (BMI) is an easy and convenient way for you to determine whether or not you are at a healthy weight. You can click here to
calculate your BMI.
Obesity Health Complications Tool
Just click the relevant body part to find out how it is affected by obesity.
The average life expectancy in the European Union is 78.7 years.
Obesity can reduce life expectancy by as much as 10 years.
Healthy BMI: 18.5 - 25
Overweight BMI: 26 - 29
1. Numerous studies have demonstrated that people who maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes maintaining a healthy weight, are generally happier than those who have an unhealthy lifestyle. Eating healthily and exercising are thought to contribute to a healthy emotional and mental state.
2. A healthy lifestyle equals a healthy heart, with the risk of conditions like high blood pressure considerably lower in those who eat healthily and exercise regularly. This is because doing so ensures that your heart is not forced to work harder than necessary to pump blood around your body.
3. The BMI scale is most commonly used to determine whether someone is overweight or obese. It calculates this figure based on your height and weight. A person of a healthy weight will usually have a BMI between 18.5 and 25, while a figure below this indicates that a person is underweight. A BMI over 25 is categorised as overweight and a figure over 30 indicates obesity.
4. Maintaining a healthy weight is also good for your bones, as there is less stress exerted on joints and the lower back. You will also be at a lesser risk of developing gout. As well as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly will help your joints, bones and muscles to stay active, mobile and healthy, meaning you will be less at risk of developing arthritis.
5. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of high blood pressure, which is known to be a risk factor for causing stroke. Those who are overweight or obese are also more likely to experience feelings of negativity relating to self-image and self-esteem, which can result in emotional and mental problems such as depression.
6. Sleep apnoea is a common condition experienced by people who are overweight. This is because the excess fat can place the throat muscles under extra strain. Sleep apnoea can cause trouble breathing and heavy snoring.
7. The increased likelihood of high blood pressure that accompanies obesity also increases the risk of heart disease due to the extra strain that is put on the heart to pump blood around the body. Those who are overweight also have an increased risk of high cholesterol and congestive heart failure.
8. Obesity can affect the lungs and reduce their functionality, leading to related problems such as asthma and pulmonary blood clots.
9. Obesity is known to be a risk factor for pancreatitis. The risk of Type 2 diabetes is also significantly increased when an individual is overweight or obese.
10. Obesity is the leading cause of liver disease in Europe. When a person is overweight, the liver cannot cope with the increased levels of fat and so stores it instead of breaking it down. This can cause the liver to become enlarged, and can even lead to cirrhosis.
11. Overweight people are known to be at a higher risk of developing gallstones and gallbladder disease.
12. Being overweight can lead to a disruption in the supply of oestrogen in the bodies of women, which can affection the functionality of the ovaries. This can further disrupt the ovulation cycle and can even cause infertility.
13. When you are overweight, the extra weight puts your joints under extra pressure, which can cause the cartilage to wear. This stress put on joints such as the hips and knees, as well as the lower back, can cause osteoarthritis. The extra strain placed on the spine can also lead to chronic back pain.
14. Overweight and obese people are four times more likely to develop gout than their normal-weight counterparts.