Why is obesity a problem?


Quick Answer

Obesity in adults causes susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease, according to WebMD. Other ailments linked to obesity include asthma, sleep apnea, gout, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis and stroke. Obesity in children leads to problems such as elevated levels of blood pressure and cholesterol, notes the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Full Answer

Obesity is carrying more than 20 percent of the recommended normal weight for a certain height. This makes a person vulnerable to high levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, states WebMD. Elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, in turn, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Obese people are also at risk of developing adult-onset, or type 2, diabetes. Weight reduction through healthy eating and regular exercise not only significantly reduces the risk, it also helps to lower and control blood sugar levels for those who already have the condition.

Obesity has also been linked to the formation of certain cancers, such as those of the breast, endometrium, colon, gallbladder, ovaries, pancreas and esophagus, notes WebMD. About 69 percent of adults in the United States weigh too much, and over 78 million Americans are obese, according to National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted between 2009 and 2010.

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