What kind of Health Problems does Obestity Cause?
John DeBarros, MD, is a bariatric surgeon on staff at Banner Estrella Medical Center. His office can be reached by calling (480) 829-6100.
Question: What specific medical problems can result from obesity? Are these problems permanent or can they be reversed with weight loss?
Answer: Obesity in America, defined by a body mass index of greater than 30, has increased significantly during the past several decades. Obesity is easy to visually recognize, yet the potential issues extend far beyond one's physical appearance.
Health problems related to obesity can be serious and include hypertension, diabetes, liver and gallbladder disease, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Studies show that more than 80 percent of type 2 diabetes cases are caused by obesity. Further, the development of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes from being overweight more than doubles an individual's risk of heart disease.
Research also suggests that every year, roughly 100,000 people develop cancer as a result of obesity. Overweight women face an increased risk of cancer of the uterus, ovary, breast, endometrium, kidney, pancreas and colon. Obese men are more likely to develop colorectal and prostate cancer.
The more obese an individual is, the greater the risk of health problems. Fortunately, there are a variety of weight-loss options available and even modest and incremental weight loss can help reduce medical problems and start to improve one's overall health.