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Diseases and Disabilities


Diseases and Disabilities Caused by Obesity

The health problems associated with obesity are numerous. Obesity is not just a cosmetic problem. It’s a health hazard. Someone who is 40% overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely as is a normal-weight person. This is because obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions,

Heart Disease and Stroke

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability for both men and women. Overweight people are more likely to have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, than people who are not overweight. Very high blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats) can also lead to heart disease and often are linked to being overweight. Being overweight also contributes to angina (chest pain caused by decreased oxygen to the heart) and sudden death from heart disease or stroke without any signs or symptoms.


Diabetes mellitus or type-2 diabetes, is the most common type of diabetes, which reduces your body’s ability to control blood sugar. It is one of the major factors that can cause early death, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and blindness. People who are obese are twice more likely to develop type-2 diabetes than those who are not obese. You can reduce your risk of developing this type of diabetes by both losing weight and by increasing your physical activity.


Obesity can also lead to several types of cancers or aggravate the cancers, which are almost in their last stages. In women, it can cause the cancer of uterus, gallbladder, cervix, ovary, breast, and colon. Men who are obese can be at a risk of developing the cancer of colon, rectum, and prostate. Although, for the cancers of colon or breast, it has not been firmly established that they are caused because of overweight, in spite of closely related to weight.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that is closely associated with being overweight. Sleep apnea can cause a person to stop breathing for short periods during sleep and to snore heavily. Sleep apnea may cause daytime sleepiness and even heart failure. The risk for sleep apnea increases with higher body weights. Weight loss usually improves sleep apnea.


Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disorder that most often affects the joints in your knees, hips, and lower back. Extra weight appears to increase the risk of osteoarthritis by placing extra pressure on these joints and wearing away the cartilage (tissue that cushions the joints) that normally protects them. Weight loss can decrease stress on the knees, hips, and lower back and may improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.


Gout is also one of the consequences of obesity. Gout is a joint disease caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid sometimes forms into solid stone or crystal masses that become deposited in the joints. Gout is more common in overweight people and the risk of developing the disorder increases in parallel with higher body weights.

Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder disease and gallstones are more common if you are overweight. Your risk of disease increases as your weight increases. It is not clear how being overweight may cause gallbladder disease. Weight loss itself, particularly rapid weight loss or loss of a large amount of weight, can actually increase your chances of developing gallstones. Modest, slow weight loss of about one pound a week is less likely to cause gallstones.


Another drawback faced by the obese persons, concerns their accidental falls. A lean person, when he falls down, does not get hurt as badly as an obese person does. He runs the risk of breaking his already over-burned weight bearing joints and spine. Plaster casts, tractions and bed rest only discourage activities of the limbs and the weight keeps on increasing along with the rigidity of the limbs.


People who are overweight suffer form one more irksome problem-piles. Constipation is a favourable condition to cause piles among overweight persons. This is more so with those overweight – persons who use the Western type of toilets instead of in the squatting position. Sitting for long periods increases piles. And an obese person is always inclined to sit for long hours.

Psychological and social effects

One of the most painful aspects of obesity may be the emotional suffering it causes. Our society places great emphasis on physical appearance, often equating attractiveness with slimness, especially in women. The messages intended or not, make overweight people feel unattractive. Many people assume that obese people are gluttonous, lazy, or both. However, more and more evidence contradicts this assumption. Obese people often face prejudice or discrimination at work, at school, while looking for a job, and in social situations. Feelings of rejection, shame, or depression are common.

Eat Better

Whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, you should take a look at your eating habits and try to improve them. Try to eat a variety of foods, especially pasta, rice, bread, and other whole-grain foods. You should also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods will fill you up and are lower in calories than foods full of oils or fats.

Snoring – A dangerous nuisance

Obese persons company, many a time, is detested for a variety of reasons on various occasion, especially when it comes to sleeping in the same room with a snorer. This problem is found to be more prevalent in men who start developing a paunch during their middle age. There may be other causes for snoring like some impairment or obstruction in the air passages, but by and large snorers do have a paunch and they do have a tendency to become obese. Their snoring is not only a hindrance restricted to their roommates or spouses but a dangerous health hazard to themselves too.

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