Medical problems develop gradually in obese people as they age, some can be life-threatening. Among the conditions commonly suffered are:
heart diseaseliver disease
Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke
Obese people live shorter lives than their thinner counterparts and carry an increased risk of many medical problems. Diabetes is ten times more prevalent in obese people, and its treatment requires adherence to a strict, healthy diet. People who have diabetes are more prone to weight gain, heart disease, and circulation and vision problems.
The causes of heart disease in obese people are sometimes attributed to increased levels of cholesterol and fat in the diet. Atherosclerosis occurs when plaques form on the walls of blood vessels, leading to blockage of blood flow. Obese individuals are six times more likely to develop heart problems.
High blood pressure and heart disease both contribute to an increased risk for stroke. Blood clots can form and travel to the brain where they can cause a life-threatening blockage.
Liver problems develop when the liver is no longer able to filter out toxins in the body. The development of liver disease is usually a gradual process. In people who smoke and drink alcohol, the breakdown of the liver occurs much faster. Obese people may develop liver problems when they take medication for the many health conditions they develop.
Sleep disorders are particularly common among the obese and may be due to excess body mass constricting the airway. Some examples of common obesity associated sleep disorders are apnea, snoring, and hypoventilation syndrome.
Pressure on the abdomen is one of the causes of urinary incontinence. When an obese person walks for a distance, laughs, coughs, or sneezes, urine may leak from the urethra, a small tube extending from the bladder to the outside of the body.
Obese men and women are at greater risk of developing certain cancer than men and women of healthy weight. Being obese at the time of diagnosis increases the likelihood of dying of cancer and of cancer recurrence.
A sixteen-year study of over 900,000 men and women (Calle, E. E., et al) evaluated body weight as a factor in cancer survival. According to the study the overall cancer death rate was 52 percent higher in the heaviest men and 62 percent higher in the heaviest women, than in the participants of healthy weight.
In the study, body weight had a significant impact on death rates for the following specific cancers:
Colon cancer/Rectal cancer in men and women
Esophageal cancer in men and women
Gallbladder cancer in men and women
Kidney cancer in men and women
Liver cancer in men and women
Multiple myeloma in men and women
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in men and women
Pancreatic cancer in men and women
Prostate cancer in men
Stomach cancer in men
Breast cancer in postmenopausal women
Cervical cancer in women
Ovarian cancer in women
Uterine cancer in women.