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Obesity and Weight Related Health Risks

Adverse effects on health caused by obesity and excessive weight
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Weight-Related Health Risks

There are several adverse effects on health caused by obesity and excessive weight.

Weight and Hypertension

The age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension (raised blood pressure) in overweight U.S. adults is 22.1 percent for men with body mass index >25 and < 27; 27.0 percent for men with body mass index > 27 and < 30; 27.7 percent for women with body mass index > 25 and < 27; and 32.7 percent for women with body mass index > 27 and < 30.

In comparison, the prevalence of hypertension in adults who are not overweight (body mass index <25) is 14.9 percent for men and 15.2 percent for women.

The prevalence in adults who are obese (body mass index > 30) is 41.9 percent for men and 37.8 percent for women.17.

Note: Hypertension is defined as mean systolic blood pressure > 140 mm Hg, mean diastolic > 90 mm Hg, or currently taking antihypertensive medication.

Blood Pressure/Obesity Study

In the Intersalt Study, the relationship between body mass index (body mass index) and blood pressure was studied in over 10,000 men and women, aged 20-59 years of age. Body mass index was significantly associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, independent of age, alcohol intake, smoking habit, and sodium and potassium excretion.

Hypertension Study

In the Framingham Offspring Study, 78% of cases of hypertension in men and 64% in women were attributable to obesity.

Cholesterol and Weight

The age-adjusted prevalence of high blood cholesterol (> 240 mg/dL) in overweight U.S. adults is 19.1 percent for men with body mass index > 25 and < 27; 21.6 percent for men with body mass index > 27 and < 30; 30.5 percent for women with body mass index > 25 and < 27; and 29.6 percent for women body mass index > 27 and < 30.

In comparison, the prevalence of high cholesterol in adults who are not overweight (body mass index <25) is 13.0 percent for men and 13.4 percent for women. The prevalence for adults who are obese (body mass index > 30) is 22.0 percent for men and 27.0 percent for women.

Cancer and Weight

A recent study found that people whose body mass index was 40 or more had death rates from cancer that were 52 percent higher for men and 62 percent higher for women than rates for normal-weight men and women.

In both men and women, higher body mass index is associated with higher death rates from cancers of the esophagus, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and kidney. The same trend applies to cancers of the stomach and prostate in men and cancers of the breast, uterus, cervix, and ovaries in women.

Almost half of post-menopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer have a body mass index > 29.

Sources include:

Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. June 1998.

World Health Organization. Obesity: Preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO Consultation on Obesity, Geneva, 3-5 June, 1997.

Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Kuczmarski RJ, Johnson CL. Overweight and obesity in the United States: Prevalence and trends, 1960–1994. International Journal of Obesity. 1998;22:39–47.

Kuczmarski RJ, Flegal KM. Criteria for definition of overweight in transition: Background and recommendations for the United States. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000;72:1074-1081.

Physical status: The use and interpretation of anthropometry. Report of a WHO Expert Committee. World Health Organization: Geneva, 1995 (WHO Technical Report Series; 854).

International Obesity Task Force. Managing the global epidemic of obesity. Report of the WHO Consultation on Obesity, Geneva, June 5–7, 1997. World Health Organization: Geneva.

Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Ogden CL, Johnson CL. Prevalence and trends in obesity among US adults, 1999-2000. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2002;288:1723-1727.

Pastor PN, Makuc DM, Reuben C, Xia H. Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Health, United States, 2002. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2002.

Mokdad AH, Ford ES, Bowman BA, Dietz WH, Vinicor F, Bales VS, Marks JS. Prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and obesity-related health risk factors, 2001. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2003;289(1):76-79.

Mokdad AH, Bowman BA, Ford ES, Vinicor F, Marks JS, Koplan JP. The continuing epidemics of obesity and diabetes in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2001;286(10):1195-1200.

Ogden CL, Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Johnson CL. Prevalence and trends in overweight among US children and adolescents, 1999-2000. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2002;288:1728-1732.

Kuczmarski RJ, Ogden CL, Guo SS, et al. 2000 CDC growth charts for the United States: Methods and development. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Statistics 11(246). 2002.

Brown CD, Higgins M, Donato KA, Rohde RC, Garrison R, Obarzanek E, Ernst ND, Horan M. Body mass index and prevalence of hypertension and dyslipidemia. Obesity Research. 2000;8(9):605-619

Calle EE, Rodriguez C, Walker-Thurmond K, Thun MJ. Overweight, obesity, and mortality from cancer in a prospectively studied cohort of U.S. adults. New England Journal of Medicine. 2003;348(17):1625-1638.

Ballard-Barbash R, Swanson CA. Body weight: Estimation of risk for breast and endometrial cancers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1996;63(suppl):437S–441S.

Huang Z, Hankinson SE, Colditz GA, et al. Dual effects of weight and weight gain on breast cancer risk. Journal of the America Medical Association. 1997;278:1407–1411.

Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults—The Evidence Report. National Institutes of Health. Obesity Research. 1998;6

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Laparoscopic or open bariatric surgery, such as gastric banding or bypass is not an easy solution to morbid obesity and weight loss. It is a serious surgical procedure, involving health risks. To produce lasting weight loss it requires a long-term patient commitment to eating a healthy diet and following a regular program of physical exercise. Life-long use of nutritional supplements may also be necessary. So, before deciding, discuss your options fully with your doctor. © 2003-2017 Bariatric-Surgery.Info - Terms - Contact - Information - Resources