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The Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity

Research has shown that as people become "overweight" and "obese,"* their risk for developing the following conditions increases:1

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
  • Gynecological problems (abnormal periods, infertility)

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

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.

References

1NIH, NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Available online:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_gdlns.pdf (PDF-1.25Mb)

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