Disease Heart Physical Health

9 Types Of Diseases Caused By Obesity

Being obese is bad. It just shows plain ignorance about a person’s choice of food and lack of exercise. Obesity is a clinical condition and is being seriously viewed as a public health problem. Between 2001-2004, 66% of Americans above 20 years old are overweight. Not many know about the diseases that are associated with being obese. Below are the 9 clusters of diseases related to obesity.

1. Cardiovascular

  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to the body’s other organs.

  • Enlarged Heart
  • an increase in the size of the heart that may be caused by a thickening of the heart muscle because of increased workload.

  • Cor Pulmonale
  • Also known as right heart failure. Cor pulmonale is a change in structure and function of the right ventricle of the heart as a result of a respiratory disorder.

  • Varicose Veins
  • Twisted, enlarged veins that mostly affects the lower body as a result of pressuring the veins.

  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Blockage of the pulmonary artery (or one of its branches) by a blood clot, fat, air, amniotic fluid, injected talc or clumped tumor cells that results in difficulty breathing, pain during breathing, and more rarely circulatory instability and may result in death.

2. Endocrine

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) in the ovaries that result in high levels of androgens (male hormones) and missed or irregular periods.

  • Menstrual Disorder
  • is a physical or emotional problem that interferes with the normal menstrual cycle, causing pain, unusually heavy or light bleeding, delayed menarche, or missed periods.

  • Infertility
  • inability for a man or woman to contribute to conception.

3. Gastrointestinal

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • happens when the LES ,a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach, opens spontaneously for varying periods of time which causes stomach contents along with digestive juices to rise up into the esophagus (the tube that carries food from mouth to stomach).

  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • an accumulation of fat within the liver that may cause liver-damaging inflammation and, sometimes, the formation of fibrous tissue. In some cases, this can progress either to cirrhosis, which can produce progressive, irreversible liver scarring, or to liver cancer.

  • Cholelithiasis (gallstones)
  • Gallstones form when bile, liquid that help the body digest fats, that is stored in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material. Happens when bile contains too much cholesterol.

  • Hernia
  • occurs when the contents of a body cavity bulge out of the area where they are normally contained. These contents, usually portions of intestine or abdominal fatty tissue, are often enclosed in the thin membrane that naturally lines the inside of the cavity.

  • Colorectal Cancer
  • also known as colon cancer, is cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. It is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of death among cancers in the Western world.

4. Renal and Genitourinary

  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • also known as impotence is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

  • Urinary Incontinence
  • is the loss of bladder control that results in mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting

  • Chronic Renal Failure
  • is a gradual and progressive loss of the ability of the kidneys to excrete wastes, concentrate urine, and conserve electrolytes.

  • Hypogonadism
  • happens when the sex glands produce little or no hormones. In men, these glands (gonads) are the testes; in women, they are the ovaries.

  • Breast Cancer
  • is the most common cancer among women.

  • Uterine Cancer
  • Symptoms include

    • Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
    • Trouble urinating
    • Pelvic pain
    • Pain during intercourse

  • Stillbirth
  • occurs when a fetus which has died in the womb or during labour or delivery exits its mother’s body.

5. Integument (skin and appendages)

  • Stretch Marks
  • are fine lines that appear on the skin that appears when a person grows or gains weight really fast.

  • Acanthosis Nigricans
  • velvety, light-brown-to-black, markings usually on the neck, under the arms or in the groin.

  • Lymphedema
  • is a condition of localized fluid retention caused by a compromised lymphatic system. Danger lies in the constant risk of developing an uncontrolled infection in the affected limb.

  • Cellulitis
  • Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender, and it may spread rapidly.

  • Carbuncles
  • a skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, called mass, which occurs deep in the skin.

  • Intertrigo
  • bacterial, fungal, or viral infection that has developed at the site of broken skin due to inflammation.

6. Musculoskeletal

  • Hyperuricemia
  • High level of uric acid in the blood that will most likely lead to gout.

  • Immobility
  • is the disease that requires complete bed rest or extremely limits your activity.

  • Osteoarthritis
  • is a joint disease caused by the breakdown and loss of the cartilage of one or more joints.

  • Low Back Pain
  • is the result of trauma to the lower back or a disorder such as arthritis.

7. Neurologic

  • Stroke
  • is a rapidly developing loss of brain function due to an interruption in the blood supply to all or part of the brain.

  • Meralgia Paresthetica
  • is a disorder characterized by tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the outer side of the thigh.

  • Headache
  • is a condition of pain in the head.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers, as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move.

  • Dementia
  • is the progressive decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from normal aging.

8. Respiratory

  • Dyspnea
  • also known as short of breath (SOB) is perceived difficulty breathing or pain on breathing.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep with each breathless period lasting long enough so one or more breaths are missed, and occur repeatedly throughout sleep.

  • Hypoventilation Syndrome
  • occurs when a very obese person does not breathe enough oxygen while sleeping. Comes from a defect in the brain’s control over breathing and excessive weight (due to obesity) against the chest wall, which makes it hard for a person to take a deep breath. As a result, the blood has too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen.

  • Pickwickian Syndrome
  • is the combination of severe obesity, suffering from obstructive sleep apnea causing hypoxia and hypercapnia resulting in marked daytime somnolence and chronic respiratory acidosis.

  • Asthma
  • is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs.

9. Psychological

  • Depression
  • is a state of intense sadness, melancholia or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individual’s social functioning and/or activities of daily living.

  • Low Self Esteem
  • is a low overall of a person’s self-appraisal of their worth.

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • is a mental disorder that involves a disturbed body image.

  • Social Stigmatization
  • is severe social disapproval of personal characteristics or beliefs that are against cultural norms.

Now that you know the health risks that come with obesity, you should calculate your current health condition and compare it to your ideal one. Pick up easy weight loss habits and understand these little known facts about losing weight. Keep your hunger in check with these natural appetite suppressants. Learn how metabolism affects your weight and eat more of the healthiest diet in the world. Losing weight is all about the calories.

56 replies on “9 Types Of Diseases Caused By Obesity”

I will agree that obesity is extremely bad for the body and leads a lot of health problem – but it is NOT ignorance on the part of a lot of obese folks. Sure there are people who are overweight because of poor food choices and no exercise. However, there are many, many, many people who are obese for a variety of reasons – medical conditions, medications they are on, metabolism issues and several other reasons that are beyond their control. I personally know people who eat under 1200 calories a day and still can not lose weight, yet there are people who consume 3000 or more calories a day and do not loose weight. You can not judge a person’s character or intelligence by their weight.

I really enjoy this blog and I have it linked on my online resource page, so I felt it was important that I comment on this issue since I truly believe it is irresponsible to promote the concept that obesity is only caused by ignorance and poor choices. I think it is more important to promote getting healthy no matter what size you are, making better choices and exercise, even if you have the additional obstacle of being obese.

I hope you will my comments in to consideration and perhaps adjust your perspective and help stop the misunderstandings about obesity.

Health and Happiness, Lady Rose

I agree with you!! I have had a thyroid problem for 2 years and I am 200 pounds and I am only 14. 🙁

Lady Rose : You are right that some obesity cases are caused by medical conditions. That’s acceptable.

However, staying obese is a choice.

The purpose of this article is to create awareness about obesity related health risks. To help people with the power to make choices, make a better choice.

Thanks for the comment, Lady Rose.

Chris, I think you and I are in agreement that unhealthy eating and not exercising is a choice. And I’m all for bringing more awareness to the problem of obesity. I think for some folks it takes a real “shock” and sometimes an in your face reality check (like your post with the very clear pictures of the health issues) to perhaps get them motivated to change. I just wanted to bring awareness to the other issue as well, that it is important to not judge others because of size.

Keep posting – I love coming here and reading the topics you cover. Health and Happiness, Lady Rose

Thank you for putting these together. However, some of these conditions have nothing to do as a result of obesity. Most obesity cases with depression are considered by healthcare professionals to be the result of childhood and adult depression and not the other way around.

Those suffering from depression from abuse and other events gain weight as a result of social anxiety and other imbalances. These are severe medical conditions that need to be addresses regardless of the patients’ weight. Treat the depression not the product of depression.

Again thank you for this information, I just wanted to make the statement that in different cases we need to look at and treat the real medical condition that resulted in the weight gain not the other way around.

Oh and I want to add one to this list and that is COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). However, I state this again that COPD can also cause weight gain by preventing efficient sleep and thus resulting in weight gain from preventing proper sleep.

If you are overweight and have other medical conditions, please ask your physician or mental health professional for proper and overall healthcare treatment in helping you and your body to complete recovery.

abi : treatments will vary, depending on the source of the pressure. It may take time for the burning pain to stop and, in some cases, numbness will persist despite treatment. The goal is to remove the cause of the compression. This may mean resting from an aggravating activity, losing weight, wearing loose clothing, or using a toolbox instead of wearing a tool belt. In more severe cases, your physician may give you an injection of a corticosteroid preparation to reduce inflammation. This generally relieves the symptoms for some time. In rare cases, surgery is needed to release the nerve.

My boyfriend is obese (over 300 pounds), and I’m 5’10 weighing 120 lb. Big difference? Yeah, but because he’s fat doesn’t mean he is unattractive. Just unhealthy, and the problems he may have in the future because of it is the only thing I’m concerned about, not his apperance. You big boys and girls are pretty/handsome too. c:

Great article. The National Institute of Health did a study in 1995 that found 97 million Americans were obese. As of this month, the Center for Disease control found that an additional 45% of Americans had become obese.

There are more intelligent food choices than people are making, and the biggest one should be to avoid all over-processed (ie: ready made) foods, and anything that contains high fructose corn syrup or any added sugars.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean meats are the key, with seeds and nuts to be eaten in small portions. There is a reason Serving Sizes are on the packages!


I would like to say that your website is quite hideous and the man who is more than obese is quite ghastly your website does not give a good impreesion on fat people.also like to say that anyone that size of the man pictured bove is unbelieveable and the sore redness picture on the anal i belueve it to be is quite horific.also the Carbuncles on the mans neck well i have never seen anything like that before in my life i would like to say your website shows people that eating too much can cause horrifing after effects.i would urge anyone who looks like this to sort out there diet and take inmediate action to prevent this for hapopenin to them

Thankyouu for reading my letter

You Sincerely
Betty May

Dear Sir/Madam

Can i please use the picture of the unhealthy heart for my e-portfolio, i was looking on the interent for a picture of the unhealthy heart and then i saw this one and thought it was the best one out of them all. The picture will not be published on the internet or anywere else the only people who will see the picture is the teachers and me and nobody else.

Your Sincerely

I am contacting you in regards to using the image on your website of the congestive heart failure. We put together a brouchure of blood pressure that we plan to make a few printed copies here at Central County Fire Department, which is located in Burlingame / Hillsborough California.

We kindly ask for a reply with your permission to use this image. Of course we will gladly give you credit for the usage.

Thanking you in advance and best regards,

Crystal Sujeski
Central County Fire Department

I am a year 10 student and I am currently enroling in a DiDA qualification for my ICT GCSE. Please may I use the picture of the unhealthy heart in my coursework. I can assure you that this is for educational purposes and will not be used online or anywhere else.

Please can you reply me with your decision as soon as possible because of my imminent deadline.

Thanking you in advance for your reply,


Staying obese is a choice?

Absolutely not. If losing weight were as simple as making the choice to do so, everyone would be thin. You are failing to attribute the causes of obesity. It is ignorant of YOU to think that obesity is merely poor diet. Many thin people have poor diet, so if you are against poor diet, say that. Realize that many obese people have not only tried changing their diet, but seeing specialists and etc.

Chris, I was thin all my life. I’m only five feet tall. I weighed 90 pounds and wore a size 1. Then at age 30 I got Hashimoto’s Thyroidtitis (Hypothyroidism) and gained 100 pounds within three months without changing my eating habits. At the time I was working out at the gym every day for an hour doing aerobics one day and then next I would do weight training. I also swam an hour every day and walked two miles every day. Before my Hypothyroidism I was very physically fit and had very low body fat (matter of fact a little on the low side). I ate very healthy with lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, etc. I never over ate. I have always been a light eater and rather picky. Well, when I gained all that weight suddenly with my Hypothyroidism it caused me to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea. Although I am now on thyroid replacement hormone therapy (Armour Thyroid) and my blood tests for my thyroid are within the normal range, I still struggle to lose the weight that I gained. It is not by choice that I remain overweight and it is not because of poor eating habits or lack of exercise. Many people with Hypothyroidism even when treated with thyroid medication continue to struggle with weight issues (I recommend reading, “Living Well With Hypothyroidism” by Mary J. Shomon). Although there are people who have weight issues because they over eat and under exercise, I agree with Kelly’s post on May 14, 2008, that no one in their right mind chooses to be obese, even those who over eat and under exercise don’t wish to be fat. These people have other issues such as stress, depression, eating disorders, etc. that causes them to have lack of control over their excessive eating. They do not choose to be this way any more than a person with Schizophrenia chooses to hear voices. It is something they cannot control and they need help, be it through a combination of counseling, stomach bypass surgery, etc. No one chooses to be fat, however, they may choose not to get treated for many reasons…lack of money, no medical insurance, fear, embarrassment, or denial that their weight is an issue. But, it is never a choice that they want to be fat. My husband is very depressed right now. He got laid off from work two years ago and has applied for every job imaginable from garbage man to ditch digger to CEO and has not been able to find work. As a result of his depression he has started over eating and has gain a lot of weight. He did not make a conscious choice to be fat. No one wakes up one morning and decides, “I think I’ll over eat and not exercise so I can be obese.” My husband is suffering from depression and low self esteem which are issues and illnesses that their symptoms can manifest themselves in weight gain. With the exception of medical conditions, medications, etc., obesity is a symptom of other issues and is not a conscious choice. Chris, although your web page is educational and has value, I find it very disturbing that you would in this day and age of medical enlightenment think that people with weight issues choose to be fat.

I was looking for something special about fitness. This write up is simply awesome. It speaks and speaks loudly, precisely to be conscious about your fitness. Don’t take it as a time pass work out. If you will take it easy than it would also and eventually you will suffer. your so called time pass workout may be ask something substantial in return.

so, we must always abide with our fitness plan/schedule. In unfair circumstances, don’t hesitate to consult with our doctor.

I’m a graduate student doing a small presentation on intertrigo for class. May I use the intertrigo image on your site? Thank you.

I think that this is an awesome web page. it give people all the facts that they need to hear if they are considered to be obese. As a year 12 health and human development student this web page has also provided the facts that i have needed to complete an assignment.

i think that these images give the reader the images that need to be seen to get in to a state of mind to looses weight. i can’t speak highly enough of this web site, it has been a great help.


I was wondering if i could use your images for a face book group aimed at slowing the obesity epidemic in Australia.



(Lewie) Glad to be of help. 🙂 And yes, you could use the images for your facebook group one the condition that you link back to this page.

Hi Chris,

I love your image with the big heart for Congestive Heart Failure. May I use it for an internal teaching course we are doing at our hospital, Baptist Health South Florida?


I’ve been through quite a bit in the last 3 years and for the first time I’ve turned to food. I gained 65 pounds over the 3 years and am now obese. I have become almost addicted to these awful/unhealthy foods and I’m in a constant struggle every day to just stop. I have a willingness but my self dicipline is just nothing anymore. I think these pictures and information you posted are very motivating. It is hard to get into the frame of mind but I keep thinking of getting back into my normal clothes like nice dresses and blouses instead of these workout pants that I don’t workout in anymore! 🙂 haha

(eahy2k) Being overweight increases your chances of having PCOS. Doesn’t mean that you won’t get it if you’re underweight.

I just wanted to comment on the visual images that you give here, and that are often thought of, as obesity. I am a 50 year old mother of 8. I have been overweight, according to the charts, most of my life. I am currently 50 lbs. overweight. I had never thought of myself as ‘obese’. I hold my weight well. I do not look as heavy as I am. But, according to the charts, I am obese. Fortunately, I do not suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, vericose veins, kidney failure, liver disease or most of the disorders you mention (yet). According to all my blood work and scans I am very healthy. But there is a noticeable difference in my energy and ‘happy’ levels when I am 30 lbs. lighter.
I excercise regularly and am constantly working at getting the weight off. People should know that you don’t have to ‘look’ obese to be in the health risk category of obesity.

One thing women could do to prevent obesity in later years is to GET RID if the after pregnancy fat. I know women are busy, but making time to exercise is a must — watching desserts, breads, and fat in foods, as well as half hour of simple floor exercises in the evening. Even 15 min. of floor exercises plus cutting calories is better than no exercise. I notice so many young women who just let it all hang out and say “My husband does not care.” Men do care.

Another cause of obesity in some folks is the need for anti psychotic meds. I believe in staying fit, personally, but I understand that many antidepressant meds will make a person almost uncontrollably heavyset.

Hello, Chris, I am a student who is writing an analysis essay about obesity. After I read your article, I am very interested in those facts and I want to use them in my essay. And I will cite the source, can you tell me more information about these article such as the date of the publication, associated institution and the date of access? Thank you very much!!!

I found this post was more of a “personal” opinion then factual.

I would recommend you READ and EDUCATE yourself about obesity and health conditions associated with obesity BEFORE posting.

Some of the conditions mentioned here can occur with patients NOT considered obese.

Are you a medical authority? Doesn’t sound like you are.

The opening statement of this article is completely ignorant. Most obese people eat the same as everyone else and still get more than a little overweight. Many also attempt to exercise just as much. No one wants to be obese. Some just suffer less ideal genetics for our current diets and many suffer health problems.

Many of the diseases mentioned start before obesity and increase the problems of slowing down or stopping weight gain. I’m in the PCOS crowd and it often starts with teenagers who are not diagnosed until it’s too late and weight gain has occurred. It’s then near impossible to get the weight back off. I actually started birth control pills in highschool without being diagnosed until near 30years old when I tried to switch to an IUD and started having increased symptoms again that were characteristic of PCOS. I have to stay on a extended cycle birth control pill to keep symptoms under control. The 1 year of horrible experience with an IUD and pills that were not fully effective gained me near 100lbs as well as the other symptoms that can lead to self consciousness. Once you get in that state it’s then really hard to go out in public and do things to improve yourself because of views like the one expressed. I am not a lazy person. I trained horses, did martial arts, covered miles on my bike (which I cannot even balance right anymore), and hiked the dogs constantly. Now I am fighting the weight I keep gaining trying to get back in to shape.

My dad suffered insomnia when he was as active as I was and because of low energy and increasing sleep apnea he gained weight. The back problems that followed and poor treatments available for insomnia caused continued weight gain. He was embarrassed to attempt martial arts again when I started being active in it even though he was interested. He has since given up on life and ever being in shape and comfortable again.

A friend had an infection go undetected for 5 years, white cell count was only slightly above normal with no localized symptoms, and suffered circulatory and respiratory damage. With a heart rate that spikes to 140+ bpm just trying to walk around and constant risks of hyperventilating for no good reason she has gained 130lbs and struggles to work her muscles enough to try to reverse the problem.

One of my other heavier friends who is actually in great shape and can do physical activity all day has obesity in her entire family because of thyroid problems even when it was caught sooner in the children than the mother. All of them suffer it and are overweight with no ability to lose it all despite activity with horses and martial arts. She has plenty of muscle, continues to do demonstrations of her martial art and swordsmanship skills but she will never be a good weight. It is a permanent problem that would have left many far more obese from less established activities to keep doing or fewer supportive people around them.

I suggest you stop judging and start looking around. With the horrible ingredients used in most US foods these days it does not help anyone but some are even more sensitive to things than others which also contributes. Should those of us with health problems have to walk around starving and never enjoying the foods people with better genetics do just so we can fulfill the ideal body type? I have to eat closer to 1000 calories to lose weight and it causes me a lot of stomach problems. Aside from basic hunger trying to eat very light actually created some of the mentioned GI disorders like GERD. Some try as hard as they can to lose weight and probably do many times the exercise most thinner people you know do without making a difference because of their genetics or health problems.

I am very offended by your article. Depression is hereditary. They have now found out that people with mental illnesses have very different brain scans than people who dont. Not just hereditary ones like bipolar and depression, b u t also situational mental illnesses like complex ptsd. People who are obese are aware they need to lose weight. Their doctors tell them, their family tells them , their clothes and their health tell them. And while its true many of them have some of these problems you pointed out, many of these disorders occur without being overweight. So this little write up you have goin on here just makes u sound like a shallow, self serving, insensitive snob who knows nothing of the people u judge. There are many reasons for obesity, just like there are for bulimia or anorexia. The world and the people suffering from obesity could have certainly lived without this judgemental negative article. They know they r fat. Its their family and doctors place to inform them of that. They do no need someone as insensitive as you throwing out random generalations around about something u obviously know nothing about. I think u need a course on compassion and kindness, give nonjudgemental love a try lady… might not end up alone on your treadmill one day

1. Just because a person inherits a gene that predisposes him or her to a depressive illness, it does not mean that he or she is destined to develop major depression or bipolar disorder. It is believed that a genetic influence is only partially responsible for causing depression.

2. “People who are obese are aware they need to lose weight”.

I have not lived in many other countries in my life, but I have done it enough to know that America is exceptional in its general permissiveness about obesity and ill health. Though there may be negative stereotypes, staring, bullying, or crude comments, the environment we live in is one that is incredibly tolerant of unhealthy lifestyles. There are enormous portions, extreme levels of convenience, and a low priority put on physical activity, even in schools. While treating someone differently because of how they look is not okay, with upwards of 60 percent obesity in certain cities, you can’t say that America is not accepting of fat people. We basically ensure that people will be fat, and are tolerant of the lifestyle choices that surround it. If anything, we need to be cracking down on it more.

Thanx for post this helpful article. There is too much information in this article. People find themselves so cautious to maintain a well-structured figure for their body because it not only ensures a healthy living but it has an indirect connection that the obesity would adversely affect dignity and reputation one has. Yes, it is so because man is a social being and has a constant intact with people around him.
I want to suggest you one of the best weight loss center in India.
Carvers is the best weight loss clinic in Delhi

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