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Health Risk Factors Are Linked to Obesity?

Dr. Sushil Rudra Ph.D 


Introduction: Obesity 

Causes of Obesity 

Heart Disease

High Blood Pressure


Type 2 Diabetes

Metabolic Syndrome



Sleep Apnea


Reproductive Issues

Weight loss & Supplement 

Health Risk Factors to Obesity


       Obesity is a condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to such an extent that it may hurt health.[1][8] People are classified as obese when their body mass index (BMI)—a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight by the square of the person’s height (despite known allometric inaccuracies[a])—is over 30 kg/m2; the range 25–30 kg/m2 is defined as overweight.[1] Some East Asian countries use lower values to calculate obesity.[11]


Three silhouettes depict the outlines of an optimally sized (left), overweight (middle), and obese person (right).

Silhouettes and waist circumferences representing optimal, overweight, and obese. 




Increased fat[1]


Cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis, depression[2][3]


Excessive food, lack of exercise, genetics[1][4]

Diagnostic method

BMI > 30 kg/m2[1]


Societal changes, personal choices[1]


Diet, exercise, medications, surgery[1][5][6]


Reduced life expectancy[2]


700 million / 12% (2015)[7]

2.8 million people per year

Obesity is a major cause of disability and is correlated with various diseases and conditions, particularly cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.[2][8][12] High BMI is a marker of risk for, but not a direct cause of, diseases caused by diet and physical activity.[12] 


A reciprocal link has been found between obesity and depression, with obesity increasing the risk of clinical depression, and also depression leading to a higher chance of developing obesity.[3]

               Obesity has individual, socioeconomic, and environmental causes. Some of the known causes are diet, physical activity, automation, urbanization, genetic susceptibility, medications, mental disorders, economic policies, endocrine disorders, and exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.[1][4][13][14] 

                                        Epidemiologic studies of overweight and obesity in children and adults covering 195 countries have shown that the prevalence of obesity has steadily increased in most countries, doubling in 73 countries over the 25 years from 1980 to 2015. 

As of 2015, the United States and China had the largest numbers of obese adults, and China and India had the largest numbers of obese children.[15] By 2018, 42% of Americans were obese.[16]

While a majority of obese individuals at any given time are attempting to lose weight and are often successful, research shows that maintaining that weight loss over the long term proves to be rare.[17]

Health risks of obesity

Obesity is a medical condition in which a high amount of body fat increases the chance of developing medical problems.

People with obesity have a higher chance of developing these health problems:

High blood glucose (sugar) or diabetes.

High blood pressure (hypertension).

High blood cholesterol and triglycerides (dyslipidemia, or high blood fats).

Heart attacks due to coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.

Bone and joint problems, and more weight put pressure on the bones and joints. This can lead to osteoarthritis, a disease that causes joint pain and stiffness.

Stopping breathing during sleep (sleep apnea). This can cause daytime fatigue or sleepiness, poor attention, and problems at work.

Gallstones and liver problems.

Some cancers.


Three things can be used to determine if a person’s body fat gives them a higher chance of developing obesity-related diseases:


Body mass index (BMI)

Waist size

Other risk factors the person has (a risk factor is anything that increases your chance of getting a disease)

Obesity and health

Body Mass Index

Collapse Section

Body Mass Index has been expanded.

Experts often rely on BMI to determine if a person is overweight. The BMI estimates your level of body fat based on your height and weight.

Starting at 25.0, the higher your BMI, the greater your risk of developing obesity-related health problems. These ranges of BMI are used to describe levels of risk:

Overweight (not obese), if BMI is 25.0 to 29.9

Class 1 (low-risk) obesity, if BMI is 30.0 to 34.9

Class 2 (moderate-risk) obesity, if BMI is 35.0 to 39.9

Class 3 (high-risk) obesity, if BMI is equal to or greater than 40.0.

There are many websites with calculators that give your BMI when you enter your weight and height.

Waist Size

                                                         The waist Size has been expanded.

Women with a waist size greater than 35 inches (89 centimetres) and men with a waist size greater than 40 inches (102 centimetres) have an increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. People with “apple-shaped” bodies (the waist is bigger than the hips) also have an increased risk for these conditions.

Risk Factors have been expanded.

Having a risk factor for a disease doesn’t mean that you will get the disease. But it does increase the chance that you will. Some risk factors, like age, race, or family history can’t be changed.

The more risk factors you have, the more likely it is that you will develop the disease or health problem.

Your risk of developing health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems increases if you’re obese and have these risk factors:

High blood pressure (hypertension).

High blood cholesterol or triglycerides.

High blood glucose (sugar), is a sign of diabetes.

These other risk factors for heart disease and stroke are not caused by obesity:

Having a family member under the age of 50 with heart disease

Being physically inactive or having a sedentary lifestyle

Smoking or using tobacco products of any kind. 

You can control it by changing your lifestyle. 

Being overweight and obese may raise your risk for certain health problems and may be linked to certain emotional and social problems.

What are some health risks of overweight and obesity?

High blood pressure

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a condition in which blood flows through your blood vessels with a force greater than normal. High blood pressure can strain your heart, damage blood vessels, and raise your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and death.

The doctor checks the blood pressure of a man who is obese.

Being overweight and obese may raise your risk for certain health problems such as high blood pressure.

As your heart beats, it pumps blood through the walls of your arteries. This creates a force or pressure. If this pressure is too high and goes unchecked for too long, it can damage other organs, such as your kidneys or brain.

High blood pressure is more likely if you’re overweight or obese. But it also can change, for the better, as you start to take the weight off.


Remember the plaque that built up in your arteries? It can break loose and act as a blood clot, or embolus. As it travels through your bloodstream, it can cause other problems. If it lands in an artery in your heart, that’s a heart attack. If it gets too close to your brain, it can block the flow of oxygen. After just a few minutes without oxygen, brain cells begin to die, causing a stroke.


The same things that help lower your chances of heart disease are also going to make a stroke less likely.

Heart disease

A sticky substance called plaque can build up inside your arteries, which are the vessels that carry blood away from your heart. Too much plaque can narrow and eventually block your arteries. This can lead to a heart attack or heart failure.

But there are a lot of things you can do to prevent that.

It starts with a simple blood test to check your cholesterol levels. If you have too much “bad” cholesterol or LDL, you can change your diet. You can eat less saturated fat (found in animal foods), and more fibre (from plant foods), for instance. Becoming more active will help, too. If that’s not enough, you may also need to take medicines to help turn things around.

Heart disease is a term used to describe several problems that may affect your heart. If you have heart disease, you may have a heart attack, heart failure, sudden cardiac death, angina, or an abnormal heart rhythm. 

High blood pressure, abnormal levels of blood fats, and high blood glucose levels may raise your risk for heart disease. Blood fats, also called blood lipids, including HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Losing 5 to 10 per cent of your weight may lower your risk factors for developing heart disease. If you weigh 200 pounds, this means losing as little as 10 pounds. Weight loss may improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood flow.

Various Types of Stroke : 2

A stroke is a condition in which the blood supply to your brain is suddenly cut off, caused by a blockage or the bursting of a blood vessel in your brain or neck. A stroke can damage brain tissue and make you unable to speak or move parts of your body. High blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes.


Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you do not breathe regularly while sleeping. You may stop breathing altogether for short periods. Untreated sleep apnea may raise your risk of other health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

  When you have this sleep disorder, the muscles in the back of your throat can’t keep your throat open while you’re asleep. This makes you stop breathing for seconds at a time.

When you’re overweight, extra fat around your neck could narrow your airway and also affect your breathing.

You might not know that this is happening. If you feel tired a lot and don’t feel more rested after you try simple things like going to bed earlier, tell your doctor. They may send you to a specialist to find out if you have sleep apnea. If you do, there are treatments. And again, it could get better as you lose weight.


A metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that put you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. These conditions are

high blood pressure

high blood glucose levels

high triglyceride levels in your blood

low levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) in your blood

too much fat around your waist

Fatty liver diseases


Fatty liver diseases are conditions in which fat builds up in your liver. Fatty liver diseases include nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Fatty liver diseases may lead to severe liver damage, cirrhosis, or even liver failure.


Osteoarthritis is a common, long-lasting health problem that causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in your joints. Being overweight or having obesity may raise your risk of getting osteoarthritis by putting extra pressure on your joints and cartilage.

  You develop this type of arthritis after the tissue that cushions your bones, called cartilage, wears down as you age. Osteoarthritis is painful and most often affects your spine, knees, hands, and hips.

If you’re overweight, the extra pounds put more pressure on your weight-bearing joints. Fat also makes proteins that can cause inflammation.

As you start to lose weight, you’ll feel and move better, and your joints will have less stress.


Being overweight and obese may raise your risk of getting gallbladder diseases, such as gallstones and cholecystitis. Imbalances in substances that make up bile cause gallstones. * Gallstones may form if bile contains too much cholesterol.


        There’s a link between obesity and certain cancers, such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cancers of the kidney, pancreas, and thyroid.  Scientists aren’t sure if being overweight causes cancer. But they do know that fat feeds the growth of existing cancer cells.

Cancer is a collection of related diseases. In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues. Being overweight and obese may raise your risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Of course, people who aren’t overweight can get cancer, too. So just like anyone else, you need to keep up with any cancer tests that your doctor recommends.


Kidney disease means that your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood as they should. Obesity raises the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, the most common causes of kidney disease. Even if you don’t have diabetes or high blood pressure, obesity itself may promote kidney disease and quicken its progress.



Overweight and obese raise the risk of health problems that may occur during pregnancy. Pregnant women who are overweight or obese may have a greater chance of delivery problems. 

It develops  gestational diabetes

having pre-eclampsia—high blood pressure during pregnancy, which can cause severe health problems for mother and baby if left untreated needing a caesarean, as a result, taking longer to recover after giving birthday.

What emotional and social problems are linked to overweight and obesity?

Being overweight and obese is associated with mental health problems such as depression. People who deal with overweight and obesity may also be the subject of weight bias and stigma from others, including health care providers. This can lead to feelings of rejection, shame, or guilt—further worsening mental health problems.

Am I at a Healthy Weight?

We all know that our weight plays a big role in our health. Of course, other things — like how active you are, your waist size, and what conditions run in your family — also matter a lot.

Still, certain conditions are strongly linked to, or even caused by, obesity. That’s the word that doctors use if your BMI, or body mass index, is 30 or higher. 

If that’s you, remember that you can start to turn things around if you lose even a small amount of weight. Where you are today is just the beginning.

               Even if you’ve tried before to lose the weight, or lost weight and gained it back, your future health is in your hands. With work and support, you can cut your chances of getting these weight-related conditions.


  Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. About 8 out of 10 people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity.8 Over time, high blood glucose leads to problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, nerve damage, and other health problems.

If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, losing 5 to 7 per cent of your body weight and getting regular physical activity may prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

People over 40 who are overweight are most at risk for this disease. But younger people — even kids and teens — also get it, and extra pounds make it more likely.

If you have type 2 diabetes, your body’s blood sugar level is too high. It doesn’t handle insulin as it should.

Over time, your body starts to resist insulin or can’t make enough of it to control your blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar stays too high for too long, you could get other things, like blindness, infections, and chronic kidney failure.

You’ll want to check with your doctor to find out if your blood sugar level is in the normal range. If you find out that you have prediabetes or diabetes, you’ll want to start treatment right away. You might need to take medicine for it, but if you can lose enough weight through diet and exercise, you may be able to cut back on, or even stop, those medications.



This is a combination of conditions that put you at risk for other problems, like heart disease, diabetes, or stroke. For example, you might be overweight, especially around your waistline, and have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, as well as cholesterol problems.

A checkup can tell you if you’re at risk. One simple thing you can do is to use a tape measure to check your waist. If it’s more than 35 inches for women or more than 40 inches for men, you’re more likely to have weight-related health problems.


Your gallbladder produces bile, a fluid that helps break down the food you eat. Sometimes if there is too much cholesterol in your bile it can harden and form painful “stones.”

Doctors aren’t sure why, but they do know that if you’re overweight or obese, you’re more likely to get gallstones. They may become a thing of your past as you work toward a new size.


Women who are overweight may have irregular periods or skip ovulation. Men might get ED, or erectile dysfunction, or their semen quality might not be as good as it could be.

If you’re a woman who’s been trying to get pregnant and it’s not happening, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. There could be many causes, but if it’s your weight, that’s something that you can start to change.

Men with ED may find that as they get healthier overall, these problems go away. Just as with many of the other conditions on this list, change is possible.

The supplement is found naturally in many healthy foods.

Some dietary supplements have been shown to improve weight loss by scientific research.


Indeed, one study has shown that inulin can help to quadruple weight loss.

People in the study lost 2.3 per cent of their body weight after taking the supplement, compared with just 0.6 per cent in the control group.

Inulin is a fibre found naturally in many foods, including leeks, wheat, onions, bananas and asparagus.

The natural fibre — which is also available as a supplement — works by reducing appetite.

It has a creamy consistency and is sometimes used in the food industry as a substitute for fat.

Inulin is low in calories and high in fibre and it can improve the health of digestion.

Researcher repeatedly finds that an increase in fibre intake can help with weight loss.

The study included 44 overweight people with prediabetes who were tracked for 18 weeks.

Half were given 30g per day of inulin, while the other group were given a placebo.

Both saw the same level of weight loss over the first nine weeks.

But after that, the group taking inulin achieved a weight loss of 2.3 per cent of their body weight in comparison to only 0.6 per cent in the control group.


The study’s authors write:

“…the consumption of inulin enhances a traditional calorie-restricted lifestyle program.

An added benefit of the inulin supplement was a greater reduction in intrahepatocellular and intramyocellular lipid in the soleus muscle even after accounting for weight loss.”

Inulin seems to work by reducing appetite, the study’s authors write:

“…subjects taking inulin ate significantly less (~270 kcal less, p = 0.027) at the follow-up ad libitum meal, with no consequent rebound in food intake at the 18-week visit despite a total 7 % weight loss in the inulin group, suggesting that insulin’s effect on weight management is mediated by appetite modulation.




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[7]  Healthline 
[8] National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017.Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website. External link. Updated July 17, 2017. Accessed October 25, 2017.

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