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Obesity - Health Risks of Obesity

How obesity affects your health depends on many things, including your age, gender, where you carry your body fat, and how physically active you are.

Risk for diseases

If you are obese and have unhealthy eating or activity habits, you have a higher risk for gallstones, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, coronary artery disease (CAD), a stroke, and sleep apnea, among other conditions.

Children who are obese are at risk for many of the same long-term health problems.

If you have healthier habits or lose weight, your risk for these conditions is reduced.

Where you carry fat

If fat builds up mostly around your stomach (sometimes called apple-shaped), you are at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease than people who are lean or people with fat around the hips (sometimes called pear-shaped). Your waist size affects your risk of health problems.

See a chart on BMI, waist size, and risk for disease.
See more information on health problems related to obesity.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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