The Link between Weight and Health

Saturday, January 17, 2009
Weight and health are strongly related to each other. Disease risk goes up slowly as weight gain pushes you out of the healthy weight range and into the overweight range. Your risk of disease and death increase significantly if extra weight puts you in the obese range. One study reported that obesity in middle age reduces life expectancy by seven years.

The list of weight-related diseases continues to grow. Increased weight raises blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) and blood pressure, which are heart disease risk factors. Weight gain impairs the body’s ability to handle glucose (blood sugar) and contributes to a prediabetic condition called insulin resistance. Other medical conditions that are associated with increased weight include certain cancers, osteoarthritis of the knees and other weight-bearing joints, gastrointestinal tract disturbances, interrupted sleep and sleep apnea, and reduced fertility.