Obesity: Fact File

Consequences of Obesity

The consequences of obesity can be split into three groups: Physical, Psychological and Social. You can find out more about these below:

Physical

People with overweight and obesity have an increased risk of:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Strokes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some cancers
  • Experiencing fertility problems
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

In addition to the above, obesity can reduce your life expectancy by up to 9 years and many chronic diseases can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight.

Carrying extra weight can also put extra pressure on joints and limbs, making activity quite difficult, and sometimes, any movement can be painful.

In pregnancy, women with obesity have a higher risk pregnancy than that of a healthy weight woman.

Children and young people with obesity face the same health risks as adults with obesity. Whilst symptoms may not become apparent until later in life, in many cases, damage from childhood obesity has already been done, making it very important that children reach a healthy weight as early as possible. In reality, we are now seeing children with such severe obesity that they are suffering from conditions usually only associated with adults e.g. Type 2 diabetes.

But it’s not all doom and gloom as there is help available. Obesity is a condition that you can do something about.

The great news is that by reducing body weight by just 5-10% dramatically reduces health risks. Losing weight also means levels of activity can be increased – contributing towards further weight loss.

Psychological

Studies have shown that obesity can lead to psychological problems such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low quality of life
  • Low self-etseem
  • Body dissatisfaction

Studies have shown that children with obesity rate their quality of life lower than those children with cancer.

Weight gain has also been linked with poor concentration levels, poor academic success and social exclusion in school.

Social

Research tells us that people with obesity can also experience social difficulties such as:

  • More likely to suffer from prejudice and discrimination in some situations (for example employment, travel, schooling, healthcare, retail, etc.)
  • Fewer friends
  • Lower educational attainment
  • Lower employment

MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS