Obesity is a term that means you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. It makes you more likely to have conditions including:
- Heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure
- Some cancers
- Gallbladder disease and gallstones
- Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for short episodes during sleep) and asthma
Not everyone who is obese has these problems. The risk rises if you have a family history of one of those conditions.
Also, where your weight is may matter. If it's mostly around your stomach (the "apple" shape), that may be riskier than if you have a "pear" shape, meaning that your extra weight is mostly around your hips and buttocks.
Here's a closer look at seven conditions that are linked to being obese or overweight.
Heart Disease and Stroke
Type 2 Diabetes
Most people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. You can cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by losing weight, eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and exercising more.
Cancers of the colon, breast (after menopause), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), kidney, and esophagus are linked to obesity. Some studies have also reported links between obesity and cancers of the gallbladder, ovaries, and pancreas.
Gallbladder disease and gallstones are more common if you are overweight.
Ironically, weight loss itself, particularly rapid weight loss or loss of a large amount of weight, can make you more likely to get gallstones. Losing weight at a rate of about 1 pound a week is less likely to cause gallstones.
Osteoarthritis is a common joint condition that most often affects the knee, hip, or back. Carrying extra pounds places extra pressure on these joints and wears away the cartilage (tissue cushioning the joints) that normally protects them.
Over the short term, sudden weight changes may lead to a flare-up of gout. If you have a history of gout, check with your doctor for the best way to lose weight.
Sleep apnea is a breathing condition that's linked to being overweight.
Weight loss often improves sleep apnea.