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What Are the Risks of Obesity?

Health Risks

Most experts agree that the more obese a person is, the more likely he or she is to develop health problems.

Someone who is 40 percent overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely as an average-weight person. This effect is seen after 10 to 30 years of being obese.

Obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and stroke. It is also associated with higher rates of certain types of cancer. Obese women are more likely than non-obese women to die from cancer of the gallbladder, breast, uterus, cervix and ovaries.

Weight Loss & Health Improvements

The good news is that losing a small amount of weight can reduce your chances of developing heart disease or a stroke. Reducing your weight by 10 percent can decrease your chance of developing heart disease by improving how your heart works, blood pressure, and levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Studies show that you can improve your health by losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds.

Psychological and Social Effects

Emotional suffering may be one of the most painful parts of obesity. American society emphasizes physical appearance and often equates attractiveness with slimness, especially for women. Such messages make overweight people feel unattractive.

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