Health Risks of Being Overweight

Overweight is a condition which is a result of increased amount of fat cells in the body and increased body size. Too much body fat will cause a condition known as obesity. One is referred to being overweight when the body mass index (BMI) is greater than or equals to 25 while obesity is when the BMI is greater than or equals to 30.

Changing lifestyles have played a significant role in the increased rates of overweight. The current feeding habits involve eating excessive amounts of cheap, sugary, fatty and high-calorie food and spending lots of time behind desks in the workplace.

Overweight is a worldwide trend that is affecting the health of many people. The risks associated with overweight include heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers, and osteoarthritis.

Heart Diseases

Excess weight increases the risk for heart diseases as it makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to all the cells in the body. The most common type of problem is when the blood vessel that carries blood to the heart becomes hard and narrow therefore keeping the heart from getting the blood that is required. This will affect the functioning of the heart as there will be difficulties in pumping the blood. Failure of the heart to function properly will cause heart attacks, chest pains, heart failure, irregular heart rhythm and cardiac death.

High Blood Pressure

The heart pumps the blood through the arteries to the rest of the body. Blood pressure is the force the blood thrusts through the walls of the arteries. A person with excess fat increases the blood pressure because the heart needs to pump harder to supply blood to all the cells in the body. Excess fat can also damage the kidneys which assist in regulating the blood pressure. High blood pressure usually has symptoms such as headaches and chest pains, and it can also cause complications such as stroke and kidney failure.


The most common type of Diabetes is the type 2 diabetes in which blood sugar levels are above normal. Overweight causes alteration of the cells and makes them resistant to insulin. Insulin is a vital hormone that regulates the blood sugar levels.  When the body becomes insulin resistant, the cells that produce insulin works extra hard to keep the blood sugar normal causing cells to wear away. This results in the failure of the blood sugar to be taken by the cells.


Cancer occurs when a body part grows unusually or out of control. The cells infected with cancer may spread to other parts of the body, such as the kidney. People who are overweight have higher risks for some cancers such as breast, colon, and gallbladder cancer. The fat cells may release hormones that affect the cell growth. Some eating habits and physical activity habits that lead to being overweight may contribute to cancer risk.


Osteoarthritis is a health problem that causes pain and stiffness in the joints. It affects the joints of the hands, hips, knees and lowers back. Excess weight may cause extra pressure on joints and cartilage causing them to wear away. Overweight people may have higher blood levels of substances that may cause inflammation. Inflammation of joints also increase the risks of osteoarthritis.

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