Health Problems of Morbid Obesity

Obesity Adversely Affects General Health

Excess body fat associated with obesity (body mass index 30+) leads to an increased health risk of many weight-related diseases and conditions. These health dangers include: heart disease, stroke, hypertension, some cancers, diabetes, insulin resistance syndrome, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, vascular problems, respiratory disorders, to name but some.

Other Health Complications of Obesity

Immune Response

Obesity, particularly severe clinical obesity, has been found to decrease the body’s resistance to harmful organisms. For example, in some clinical tests, a reduction in the activity of scavenger cells – those that destroy bacteria and foreign organisms in the body – has been observed in patients with obesity.


As well as causing slower post-operative recovery from surgery, obesity is associated with an increased incidence of wound infection. For example, studies show that obese patients with burns develop pneumonia and wound infection at twice the frequency rate of patients of normal weight.


Although not an independent risk factor, morbid obesity is associated with severe pancreatitis. Studies reveal that morbidly obese patients with acute pancreatitis develop significantly more complications than patients of normal weight.

Respiratory Function

As well as asthma, severe bronchitis and obstructive sleep apnea, studies show that obesity may increase respiratory resistance, breathlessness and a reduction in lung volume.


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