obesity are more likely to have certain health
problems than adults who are not obese. These problems include the
People who are obese have an increased risk of:
People who are obese are more likely to develop
insulin resistance, which can lead to
type 2 diabetes.
The risk of type 2 diabetes increases as BMI increases. People
who have a large percentage of body fat in the abdominal area—greater than
40 in. (102 cm) in men and
greater than 35 in. (89 cm) in
women—are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, even if their BMIs are within
the normal range.
People who are obese are at greater risk for different types
of cancer, including:1
People who are obese may have more digestive problems.2
People who are obese may have difficulty breathing.
People who are obese have a greater risk of developing
arthritis. Extra weight puts more stress on the joints
than normal, especially in the legs and lower back.
Obesity is linked with:
American Cancer Society (2010). Cancer Prevention and Early Detection: Facts and Figures 2010. Atlanta: American Cancer Society. Available online: http://ww2.cancer.org/downloads/STT/Cancer_Prev_and_Early_Dect_2010.pdf.
American Gastroenterological Association (2002, reapproved 2008). AGA
technical review on obesity. Gastroenterology, 123(3):
882–932. [Erratum in Gastroenterology, 123(5):
April 13, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
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