Effects of Obesity

Obesity can have highly detrimental effects in the long run.
What starts out as a bit of a weight issue can easily snow ball into a host of issues that undermine health.


Heart Attack

Being overweight leads a person’s body to demand more in terms of nutrition to maintain a large physique. Further, the person has to exert harder than normal to fulfil ordinary tasks. Both these factors place tremendous strain on the heart which in turn compromises its ability to pump blood. This could easily lead to failure.


People who are overweight or obese compromise their body’s ability to use insulin to properly control blood sugar levels, and are therefore more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

High blood pressure

  • Being overweight or obese can exert a higher pressure on the artery walls leading to an increase in blood pressure. This, in turn, increases the heart rate and reduces the body’s ability to transport blood through the vessels.
  • Additional fat tissue in the body requires oxygen and nutrients in order to live. This increases the workload of the heart because it must pump more blood leading to more pressure on the artery walls and higher blood pressure.


Obesity can hamper the functioning of the lungs. It is thought to limit the expansion of the lungs which can impair lung function. Asthma is a condition whereby one’s airways can narrow and produce extra mucus causing symptoms of coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. A person who is affected by obesity has a higher chance of developing asthma.


Bad cholesterol (triglycerides and LDL) tends to be high if you are obese, while good cholesterol (HDL) is lowered. This increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Gallbladder Disease

  • Excess weight or obesity can increase the risk of gallbladder disease – typically an inflamed or infected gallbladder
  • Obesity increases the amount of cholesterol in bile and high cholesterol adds to the risk of gallstone creation

Sleep Apnea

  • Sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing for brief periods, interrupts sleep throughout the night and causes sleepiness during the day. It also causes heavy snoring. Such respiratory problems associated with obesity occur when the added weight of the chest wall restricts the lung function
  • Sleep apnea also affects soft tissue in the throat. During one’s sleep, when the throat and tongue muscles are relaxed, the soft tissue blocks the airway leading to inconsistent breathing

Health and Work


Being overweight can cause you to tire easily. That’s because your body has to work harder than normal to do everyday activities.


Obesity can cause shortness of breath as extra weight in the chest and abdomen increases the load on the muscles that control breathing.

Joint Damage

  • Every pound of excess weight adds four pounds of pressure on the knees
  • Excessive weight can put stress on joints and promote cartilage damage that often leads to osteoarthritis

Prone to accidents

  • Excess weight can lead to mobility issues in obese individuals
  • Obesity is associated with impaired postural balance, which can cause slips and falls

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