Overweight: The Effects of Being Overweight on Your Health


  • Being overweight doesn’t just increase the body weight, but with it creates a lot of major health issues.
  • There are high possibilities for people with overweight to have cancer, diabetes, depression, stroke and heart diseases.
  • Therefore, losing additional weight can help you to decrease the risk of being affected by these conditions.

How Does Being Overweight Affect Your Health?

There is a high possibility for you to have a lot of different health conditions if you are having extra weight in your body. These conditions mainly are the nation’s leading causes of death such as diabetes, heart diseases, certain cancers and stroke. Apart from these there are other conditions such as gallstones and gout. One of the main impacts of overweight is it causes depression in people as this can have a negative impact with your mood disorder and affects your life.


There was a sobering statistics about health and weight in a Harvard study that had data collected from over 120,000 women and 50,000 men (participants in the study).

The participants provided information about their weight, height, health habits, medical histories and their diets. The researchers were tracked down for more than ten years. Participants occurrence of illnesses were compared with their BMI (Body Mass Index) from their body fat which was calculate with their body fat or weight and height.

Obesity is on the main reasons that increase the risk of diabetes twenty times boosting the risk of heart diseases, gallstones, high bloody pressure and stroke. It was clearly understood that the people with overweight or obese had a direct relationship between their risk and BMI (Body Mass Index). In simple words the higher the weight and BMI (Body Mass Index), the higher the possibilities for disease.

#1: Relation Between Overweight and Depression- Does Overweight Cause Depression?

It is a question that has been asked for centuries, does people gain excess pounds as they are depressed or do they get depression because of they are overweight? A result of over 15 studies conducted stated both the scenarios are true. The study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2010 stated that overweight people have 55 percent higher risk of getting depression when compared with others with normal weight. Here are some reasons why obese or overweight can increase depression in people.

  • Both the conditions may stem due to the alterations in brain functions and its response to tackle stress and emotions.
  • It also affect psychological factor as having excess weight can reduce self-esteem which can also increase depression in the individual.
  • Apart from these eating disorders and discomfort of having overweight can also trigger depression.

Here is a reason to why depression can cause obesity or overweight. A study stated that 58 percentage of depressed people have high chances of becoming obese.

  • Increased stress hormone cortisol (high in people with depression) can alter fat cells accumulated in the belly according to several studies.
  • People with depression can have eating disorder and wont exercise regularly resulting them to gain more excess weight.
  • Even few medications used for depression treatment can also result in overweight.

#2: Relation Between Overweight, Stroke and Heart Disease- Can Overweight Cause Stroke and Heart Disease?

There is a relation between overweight, stroke and heart disease. The most common issues people with overweight have are unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, fats in blood. There are possibilities these tend to happen all at once. All these conditions can result in causing stroke and other cardiac diseases.

People with excess or overweight are more prone to high blood pressure (High B.P) than lean people. American Heart Association states that systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure by 3 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and an average of 2.3 mmHg boosts with just 22 pounds of surplus weight in body can increase the possibilities of cardiac diseases and stroke.

In 2007 a study conducted by the Archives of Internal Medicine reviewed the association between heart disease and excess weight. The study involved more than 300,000 participants and the results found were:

  • The risk of heart diseases is boosted of 32 percent being overweight.
  • Obesity boots the risk by 81%

The authors concluded, even the confrontational effects of overweight on cholesterol levels and blood pressure can account for 45 percentage increased risk of heart diseases to even the modest amount of Overweight can increase the risk of cardiac conditions.

People with overweight have almost 22 percent high risk of getting stroke compared to people with normal weight. The journal states in its 2010 report that obese people have an increased risk of 64 percentage of getting heart ailments compared to normal people. The study was done with over 2 million people participating in it.

#3: Relation Between Overweight and Diabetes- Can Overweight Lead to Diabetes?

Obesity and Overweight are very closely related to diabetes, in fact, “diabesity” is the term expert’s use for such phenomenon. The most common type of diabetes is Type 2 diabetes and about 90 percent of people with this condition are overweight. There was a rapid growth in the diabetes with 65 percent during the 1996 to 2006 period.

One of the reasons for metabolic syndrome is high blood sugar level which is the hallmark of diabetes. If diabetes is not controlled or treated properly it can result in a lot of other severe health conditions such as blindness, kidney failure leg or foot amputations, cardiac diseases, etc. In the United States, Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death.

#4: Overweight and Cancer- Can Being Overweight Cause Cancer?

Can being overweight cause cancer? It is believed that overweight is the second most leading causes of cancer death. The first is cigarette smoking.

The study conducted by the American Cancer Society was published in The New England Journal of Medicine which had followed over 900,000 people in a span of 16 years which clearly showed the relation between cancers due to Overweight. Few of the findings are as follows.

  • In people who are over the age of 50 years, obesity and Overweight is the reason for over 14% of all cancer death in men and in women it is 20%.
  • In people with high BMI (Body Mass Index) resulted with cancer and high risk of death from colon and rectum cancer, liver, gallbladder, kidney, pancreas etc.
  • Among men, the risk of death due to prostate and stomach cancer is also high with overweight.
  • Among women with higher BMI (Body Mass Index), risk of cancer death is high with cancer in uterus, breast, ovary, cervix, etc.

A similar result was published in The Lancet in 2008 which stated that most people with overweight or obese are very less likely to undergo cancer tests such as mammograms and pap smears.

The review in The International Journal of Obesity stated a lot of women delays in conducting a pelvic exam due to the negative experiences in the doctor’s place and their staffs. However. in cases related to men, it is difficult to conduct prostate exams with overweight men especially if they have accumulated high fat levels in their thighs, buttocks and hips.

#5: Overweight and Lifespan- Can Overweight Reduce your Lifespan?

It is not easy to live a life with overweight, it can be very difficult indeed. For instance, when compared to people with normal weight, overweight gainers might have a hard time walking even a quarter of a mile or even lifting 5 to 10 pounds, bending or even raising from a bench or arm less chair. This burden is very high in people today just because many people are obese for most part of their lives.

It is true that overweight is a reason to causing several deadly and harmful diseases in men and women that result in reduced life span. A recent study by the New England Journal of study reported that 20 percent to 40 percent of deaths occur at mid age level and numbers have increased drastically in the last decade. The death rate of overweight people is very high today not just in the United States but worldwide.

A similar report in the same study stated following 1.5 million white adults between the ages of 19 to 84 years for a period of time showed the death rate always increased due to overweight and obese. The statistics shows that there were risks of 44 percent high death rate in people who are mildly obese to a whopping 250 percentage of increased death rate for those with overweight.


Losing weight can result in a lot of changes in life. It will make you feel better not just physically but emotionally as well apart from helping you live a healthy life. It is true that you don’t have to lose weight abundantly to feel healthy however losing even modest weight to 5 percent to 10 percent can also help you feel good and healthy. Here are few health benefits of losing weight.

  • Overweight people who lost 10 pounds in a 6 months span had a reduced diastolic blood pressure by 2.5 mm Hg and systolic blood pressure by 2.8 mm Hg. This effect was equal to the results brought with blood pressure medications.
  • People who lose overweight can stop taking blood pressure medications as their blood pressure would be normal.
  • A recent study stated that people with type 2 diabetes who lost 7 pounds of weight with regular 30 minutes of exercises reduced the risk of diabetes by nearly 60 percent.
Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 22, 2019

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