6 Deadly Diseases Caused by Obesity That You Might Not Know

By Joseph Hill MAY 15, 2023
in Bio Tech

The Growing Problem of Obesity

With the spread of modern lifestyles, obesity has become a growing problem in America. According to the USA Federal Statistical Office, about 67% of the America adult population will be overweight or obese by 2022. Of these, about 23% of adults are obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30.

BMI is an index that measures the proportion of weight to height, calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters. A BMI above 25 is considered overweight.

For example, a female with a height of 1.65 meters and a weight of 70 kilograms has a BMI of 25.71, which is considered overweight.

Obesity is a chronic disease that mainly occurs through the secretion of chemical substances by fat cells, which become cytokines that trigger bodily inflammation, disrupt the balance of internal hormones and growth factors, and lead to many health problems. If you are overweight, you should pay attention to changes in your body and start losing weight.

Cardiovascular Disease

Millions of people die each year from cardiovascular disease. Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease due to the fact that obesity causes damage to the cardiovascular system. Obesity causes the body to accumulate large amounts of fat, especially abdominal fat, which releases a variety of hormones and cytokines that lead to an increased inflammatory response in the body. 

These hormones and cytokines can damage the endothelium (the cellular layer in the lining of blood vessels), leading to increased vessel wall thickness and stiffening of blood vessels. In addition, obesity can lead to cardiac hypertrophy, which increases the load on the heart and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. All of these factors can make obese people more likely to suffer from hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

Type 2 Diabetes

It is well known that diabetes is a lifelong disease that cannot be cured. Obesity is one of the important risk factors for diabetes, and it is closely related to the development of diabetes.

Specifically, obesity leads to an increase in adipocytes and inflammation of adipose tissue. These inflammatory factors interfere with insulin signaling, making the body's cells less sensitive to insulin, which is known as insulin resistance. Insulin is an important hormone for controlling blood sugar, and when insulin resistance occurs, the action of insulin is inhibited and blood sugar levels rise.

In addition, obesity leads to impaired function of the pancreatic beta cells. When the body needs more insulin to control blood sugar, the pancreatic beta cells need to secrete more insulin. If you are continuously in a state of high blood sugar, the pancreatic beta cells will gradually fail and secrete less insulin, which is the impaired function of the pancreatic beta cells.

Therefore, obesity increases the risk of insulin resistance and impaired pancreatic β-cell function, which leads to the development of diabetes.

Joint Problems

Obesity can increase the burden on the body, especially on weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips, which can lead to increased joint load, inflammation, osteoporosis, and arthritis, ultimately leading to joint problems. It may cause disabilities, decreased mobility, pain and discomfort, chronic diseases, surgical risks, and other problems.

● Adding to the burden on the joints:
Obese people have increased body weight, which can add to the burden on the joints. Especially in the knee and hip joints, these joints have to carry more weight. Over time, the cartilage and ligaments in these joints may be damaged.

● Inflammation:
Fat cells secrete chemicals, called cytokines, that can cause an inflammatory response. These cytokines may also directly affect joint cartilage, leading to cartilage degeneration and joint inflammation.

● Osteoporosis:
Obese people have increased levels of fatty tissue in their bodies, which may affect bone health. Some studies have shown that obese people may be more prone to osteoporosis than normal-weight people, which may also lead to joint problems.

Respiratory Problems

Obesity can lead to a variety of respiratory problems because it places a burden on the respiratory system, causing obstruction and narrowing of the airways, making breathing difficult. Severe cases can lead to respiratory failure, asphyxia and death.

● Sleep apnea syndrome:
Obesity is one of the main risk factors for sleep apnea syndrome. Sleep apnea syndrome is a condition in which pauses in breathing occur during sleep and last for more than 10 seconds. Obesity causes sleep apnea syndrome due to increased fatty tissue in the larynx, which leads to narrowing of the airway.

● Asthma: 
Obesity can lead to increased pressure in the lungs, which increases the risk of developing asthma. In addition, obesity can also trigger inflammation in the body, making the airways narrower and leading to asthma.

● Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease:
Obesity can affect the patency of the lungs, making the flow of gas obstructed, which can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

● Obesity lung disease: 
Obesity can affect the mechanical properties of the lungs, making the lungs less elastic and smaller in volume, which can lead to obesity lung disease.


Obesity causes chronic inflammation and abnormal metabolism, factors that may affect the levels of hormones and growth factors within the body, which in turn increase the risk of certain cancers.

● Colorectal cancer:
Obesity may increase the risk of colorectal cancer by altering the endocrine system and insulin resistance.

● Breast cancer: 
Obesity may lead to increased estrogen levels, which in turn increases the risk of breast cancer.

● Kidney cancer:
Obesity may increase the risk of kidney cancer by altering the renin-angiotensin system and insulin resistance.

Fertility Issues

● Infertility:
Obesity may lead to irregular menstruation, abnormal ovulation or inability to ovulate in women, thus increasing the risk of infertility. For men, obesity may affect the quantity and quality of sperm, leading to reduced fertility.

● Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS):
Obesity is one of the main risk factors for causing PCOS. The condition causes abnormal ovarian hormone levels, leading to ovulation disorders and irregular menstruation.

● Pregnancy complications:
Obesity increases the risk of complications such as hypertension, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia in pregnant women, thereby increasing the health risks to both mother and child.

● Birth defects:
Obese pregnant women may give birth to children with congenital heart disease, neural tube defects and other birth defects.

The above are only the 6 major diseases that obesity mainly affects, and there are countless minor illnesses. Maintaining a proper weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle can greatly reduce the risk of developing diseases. Even when losing weight, it is important to do so in a healthy manner, with a balanced diet, appropriate medication assistance, and long-term commitment, in order to control weight at a healthy level.

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