10 Health Conditions Related to Excess Weight

Patient Expert
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More than two-thirds of the U.S. population is either overweight or obese. Unfortunately, excess weight puts you at higher risk for quite a few other debilitating conditions. Here are 10 of them.

Diabetes type 2

This used to be known as “adult-onset diabetes,” but the term can no longer be used clinically. Increasing obesity rates and sedentary lifestyles have led to DT2 in adolescents and even children under 10 years old.


Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing suddenly starts and stops repeatedly while sleeping. Although it can affect both women and men, 70 to 90 percent of patients are middle-aged men who are overweight.

High cholesterol

Fats in our body can be good for us, but only if they are in balance. Excess LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, or too little HDL cholesterol, can increase your risk for stroke, heart disease, and other circulatory problems.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

NAFLD is caused by a buildup of fat in the liver, but doesn’t always show symptoms. It can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver, which can be fatal without a transplant. Between 50 and 70 percent of those with type 2 diabetes, and up to 95 percent of people who are obese have a fatty liver.


Osteoarthritis is a gradual deterioration of joint tissue. While walking, knees and hips suffer three times more pressure, and six times more when walking down stairs. For every 10 pounds of excess weight gain, you increase your risk for this condition by 40 percent.

High blood pressure

Blood pressure is the tension, or pressure, exerted by blood flow onto the walls of your arteries. A reading of 120/80 is normal, whereas any reading of 140/90 or higher is considered hypertension. One in three Americans has high blood pressure, but often is unaware of it.

Coronary heart disease

Also known as Coronary Artery Disease, CHD is the leading cause of death for adults in the U.S. It is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.


Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide. It causes a lack of oxygen that results in the sudden death of brain cells. Ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage in an artery. Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a tear in the artery's wall, and produces bleeding into or around the brain.

Gallbladder disease

Although there are many known causes for gallbladder disease, a major risk factor is obesity. Rapid weight loss following bariatric surgery may also increase your risk. Gallbladder disease can be asymptomatic, and affects roughly 12 percent of the population.


Obesity increases the chances of developing many forms of cancer. Obesity has been linked to increased risk of cancer of the esophagus, breast, endometrium, colon and rectum, kidneys, pancreas, thyroid and gallbladder.