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The Health Risks of Obesity


Updated February 15, 2014

The health risks of obesity are serious and even life-threatening, though they are often overlooked. If your weight is not in a healthy range, use these health risks as added inspiration to reach your goals. Eating right and exercising are lifestyle changes that could really change your life.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes and obesity are directly connected -- so much so that more than 85% of the people diagnosed with it also are overweight. Type 2 diabetes begins when the body does not respond correctly to insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas.

Heart Disease

Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and heart attack. Being at least 20% overweight or more significantly increases your risk for developing heart disease.

Stress Incontinence

Excess weight, particularly in your abdominal area, puts added pressure on your bladder which makes your bladder more likely to be incontinent, or "leak."


Obese individuals are more likely to develop gallstones than those who are at a healthier weight. For women, obesity is an even stronger risk factor for developing gallstones.


Women over 50 who are obese stand an increased chance of developing hypothyroidism, an endocrine disorder that can actually result in additional weight-gain and other problems.

Other Health Consequences of Obesity

Besides these conditions listed above, there are other conditions linked to obesity, such as gout and osteoarthritis.
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