What are the Health Risks of Obesity?

Felicia Dye

Being obese can lead to a wide range of problems, including premature death. Young people who are vastly overweight face the risks of developing diseases that are not generally associated with their age group, such as heart disease. Other health risks of obesity include high cholesterol and strokes.

Type 2 diabetes, which may lead to limb amputation, is considered a health risk of obesity.
Type 2 diabetes, which may lead to limb amputation, is considered a health risk of obesity.

One of the most concerning health risks of obesity is the possibility of premature death. It is believed that being vastly overweight can have the effect of reducing a person’s lifespan. This risk can be especially prominent if the weight problem exists for at least 10 years. It is also believed that the more a person weighs, the more danger she faces.

Individuals suffering from obesity are at an increased risk of stroke.
Individuals suffering from obesity are at an increased risk of stroke.

There are certain conditions that are associated with people in certain age groups. Obesity is not one of them. This problem affects people in all stages of life. One of the notable health risks of obesity for young people, however, is that it increases their chances of developing conditions that they otherwise would likely face only later in life, if at all.

Type 2 diabetes is one of the conditions that is listed among the health risks of obesity. This type of diabetes is characterized by the body’s resistance to insulin, which is needed to transport sugar to the cells. When this process does not function properly, the result is elevated blood sugar. If this condition is not treated, a wide range of other serious complications can occur, such as amputation.

It has been found that obese people have elevated risks of strokes. A stroke is a condition that results when there is a temporary failure in the supply of blood to the brain. One of the reasons that the link between these two conditions is believed to exist is because many of the side effects of obesity are causes of blood supply problems.

For example, being drastically overweight is often accompanied by high cholesterol. Cholesterol is a substance that is transported in the blood to perform tasks such as making hormones and helping to digest food. When there is an excessive amount of this substance, it tends to build up in the arteries. This can lead to heart disease.

Being obese already puts a significant amount of strain on the heart. This has been found to be especially true when the fat is concentrated around a person’s mid-section. When this is combined with the increased risks of conditions such as high cholesterol, there is little wonder that there is a strong connection between obesity and heart disease.

Obesity may increase risk of heart attack.
Obesity may increase risk of heart attack.

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Discussion Comments


SauteePan - I agree with you. I wanted to add that the Children’s Aid Society is a nonprofit organization that partners with over 45 schools in New York City to provide healthier options for kids.

They are involved in offering afterschool activities that engage in active play as well as participating in the food selection for most of the schools lunch menus that they serve.

They usually serve the poorest communities within the city because according to their statistics children in these areas are about 70% less likely to eat their suggested servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Eating more fruits and vegetables allows the child to feel satisfied on fewer calories because fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber and tend to be filling.


Comfyshoes - I agree that obesity in children is easily prevented because children have such a high metabolism that if they engage in exercise everyday and eat sensible portions they will prevent weight problems.

It is really sad to consider the childhood obesity health risks that children are now facing. Diabetes is a huge threat and we are now seeing this in children at alarming rates.

Kids are now developing adult diseases at much younger ages which puts these children at a huge disadvantage. I like the fact the First Lady is addressing childhood obesity and making it a priority in her agenda.


Oasis11 - I wanted to add that childhood obesity really needs to be addressed in order to prevent the potential for the child to become an obese adult.

Most children just need exercise and their weight problems will disappear. If a child is active they

will not be sitting in front of the television set and engage in mindless eating.

Also the additional calories that the child

burns go a long way in keeping the child’s weight stable. When the child engages in exercise they usually eat less because they tend to be thirsty and the last thing they want is food.

It also helps kids to get their mind off of food when they play outside or engage in some physical activity.


I think that the health risks associated with obesity are extensive.

People that are obese have a higher chance of developing

diabetes and heart disease, but they can also develop problems with their joints due to the excessive weight.

People that have significant weight to lose also complain of pain in their knees when walking. The pain is associated with the excessive weight that they are carrying around. Also with the increased weight also comes with shortness of breath.

If you combine the health risks of smoking with obesity the shortness of breath may become more pronounced

and increase the risk of many cardio and pulmonary diseases.

This combination will drastically reduce one’s life span.

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