How Obesity Impacts Your Health

Obe­si­ty is a chron­ic, neu­robe­hav­ioral dis­ease that affects your health and can sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce your over­all qual­i­ty of life. You are con­sid­ered obese if your Body Mass Index (BMI) score, which com­pares your height to weight ratio, is 30 or high­er. Over time, being over­weight increas­es your risk of devel­op­ing sev­er­al oth­er med­ical con­di­tions. Bariatric sur­geon, Jihad Kudsi, MD, shares some of the most com­mon health risks asso­ci­at­ed with obesity.

Accord­ing to the U.S. Sur­geon Gen­er­al, obe­si­ty is a seri­ous con­di­tion that can increase your risk of devel­op­ing oth­er health con­di­tions including:

Cer­tain cancers

Accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Can­cer Soci­ety (ACS), being over­weight can increase your risk of devel­op­ing sev­er­al types of can­cer, includ­ing those of the breast, colon, kid­ney or prostate. The link between your weight and can­cer risk is still being stud­ied, but is thought to be asso­ci­at­ed with increased inflam­ma­tion in your body, the impact addi­tion­al weight has on cer­tain hor­mone lev­els and oth­er fac­tors that reg­u­late cell growth.

Exces­sive Weight

Excess weight, espe­cial­ly if car­ried in your abdom­i­nal area, com­bined with a lack of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty can lead to insulin resis­tance. Often, fol­low­ing a healthy diet, get­ting reg­u­lar exer­cise and main­tain­ing a healthy weight can help elim­i­nate the need for dia­bet­ic med­ica­tions. Weight loss and long-term weight man­age­ment can improve, and in some cas­es, resolve type 2 diabetes.


When there is addi­tion­al fat tis­sue present, your body (and heart) has to work hard­er to pump blood through­out your body, adding pres­sure on your arter­ies and increas­ing your blood pres­sure. Over time, this can dam­age or weak­en your heart and lead to oth­er more seri­ous heart relat­ed issues, like con­ges­tive heart failure.


Obe­si­ty can cause irreg­u­lar heart­beats (arrhyth­mias) or ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis (hard­en­ing of your arter­ies). This is because, over time, fat deposits build up in your arter­ies, restrict­ing the flow of blood to your heart and cause blood clots to form. Hav­ing an arrhyth­mia increas­es your risk for car­diac arrest, a heart attack or stroke.

Sleep Apnea

Being over­weight or obese often reduces your lung capac­i­ty, as fat accu­mu­lates in your neck, block­ing your air­flow and increas­ing your chances of devel­op­ing res­pi­ra­to­ry infec­tions, asth­ma or devel­op­ing obstruc­tive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can also lead to addi­tion­al weight gain because reduced sleep dis­rupts the pro­duc­tion of hor­mones linked to your appetite and can cause you to feel drowsy and less active.

Our Weight Loss Clin­ic offers a vari­ety of treat­ment options and the resources need­ed to achieve your weight loss goals and live a healthy, active lifestyle — from nutri­tion ther­a­py and exer­cise plan­ning to the man­age­ment of meta­bol­ic dis­or­ders and sur­gi­cal options. To sched­ule an appoint­ment with the Weight Loss Clin­ic, call 630−348−3840.

If you are unable to achieve or main­tain a healthy weight using diet and lifestyle mod­i­fi­ca­tions, you may want to con­sid­er addi­tion­al treat­ment options, includ­ing bariatric (weight loss) surgery. In addi­tion to being one of the most effec­tive, long-last­ing ways to treat obe­si­ty, bariatric surgery pro­vides health ben­e­fits that go well beyond weight loss.

Learn more about the health ben­e­fits of bariatric surgery.

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