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What are some of the health risks of being overweight?

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Health risks of being overweight include an increased risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke. Gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, cancers, and mental illness such as depression and anxiety are also health risks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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High blood pressure and cholesterol increase the chances of heart disease or stroke. Most people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, according to WebMD. Cancers of the colon, breast, endometrium, kidney and esophagus are linked to obesity. Some studies have also shown links between obesity and cancers of the gallbladder, ovaries and pancreas.

Osteoarthritis is a common joint condition that affects the knees, hips and back. Carrying extra weight puts more pressure on the joints and wear away the cartilage that protects them, claims WebMD. Sleep apnea causes the person to snore heavier and to stop breathing briefly during sleep.

Many risk factors contribute to being overweight, including genetics, family lifestyle, inactivity and unhealthy diet. Medical issues, certain medications, age, pregnancy and lack of sleep are also risk factors, according to Mayo Clinic.

Genetics affect the amount of body weight stored and also play a role in how efficiently the body converts food into energy. Obesity tends to run in families not only due to genetics, but also due to family members engaging in similar eating habits, says Mayo Clinic. Medicines such as antipsychotics and antidepressants commonly cause weight gain, and lack of sleep releases a hormone that makes the body crave more food.

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