backup og meta

5 Diseases Caused by Being Overweight

Medically reviewed by Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Apr 20, 2022

    5 Diseases Caused by Being Overweight

    Obesity is not always caused because of a bad lifestyle, it can also be because of a number of other factors including family history, medical history, etc. With the help of a healthy lifestyle, you will be able to prevent diseases caused by being overweight. You can also take the help of appropriate medications and exercises to prevent other conditions.

    What Is Obesity?

    Obesity is a condition in which you take in more calories than you burn. This accumulation of fat makes you gain excess weight and causes obesity. Individuals with Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above are considered obese.

    Excess fat in your body puts excess stress on your bones and other organs, making you more prone to developing many diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, etc.

    Diseases Caused by Being Overweight


    If you are overweight, it increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body does not produce or utilize insulin, making your body resistant to insulin.

    Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas produces, and it helps to transform the sugar we consume into fuel for the cells in our body. If your body is resistant to insulin, it means your body is not able to properly utilize the sugar to create energy. People who are overweight are more likely to have type 2 diabetes since the accumulation of fat in your body makes your body cells less receptive to insulin.

    In simple words, insulin does not function properly in people who are obese. Therefore, diabetes is one of the common diseases caused by being overweight.

    If you are overweight, it becomes difficult for you to even perform your daily tasks. You can protect yourself from developing type 2 diabetes by increasing the physical activities that will help you to control your blood sugar levels. You must also have a healthy diet and get enough sleep.

    Obesity and Cancer

    Being obese does not always mean you will develop cancer. But obesity makes a person more likely to develop cancer. Being obese increases your risk of developing over 10 cancers such as breast, kidney, bowel, ovaries, etc.

    A key point to comprehend is that fat cells change the way your body functions. These fat cells discharge chemicals that can make cells near them act weird and become maligned. This occurs in different organs of your body, prompting to develop different types of cancers.

    Cancers or diseases linked to obesity include

    • Endometrial cancer
    • Liver cancer
    • Gastric cancer
    • Kidney cancer
    • Gallbladder cancer
    • Breast cancer
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Ovarian cancer

    Fat cells discharge huge measures of estrogen and the excess fat cells you have, the more your body releases estrogen. Estrogen can cause cells in the stomach and breasts, which are especially sensitive to estrogen, to spread wildly. This can lead to cancerous tumors. This is the reason why women who have breast and stomach cancers have more significant levels of estrogen.

    Obesity and Osteoarthritis

    One of the most common diseases caused by being overweight is osteoarthritis. It is a condition affecting your joints with symptoms mainly occurring in the hands, wrist, neck, hips, etc.

    Being overweight puts excess pressure on the joints, and overuses and breakdowns the cartilage that guards them. For this reason there is a connection between being overweight and osteoarthritis. The excess weight causes stress on the joints and this can accelerate the development of osteoarthritis.

    Losing some weight can be helpful. Performing physical activities aids in weight loss, but it is important to seek professional help. It would be difficult for an individual with arthritis to lose weight. Your fitness expert might recommend you to try cardiovascular and muscle training exercises that are effective in osteoarthritis.

    In addition, maintaining a healthy weight is also beneficial in improving heart health and prevent yourself from developing certain medical conditions. Make sure you set realistic goals when it comes to fitness, putting excess pressure on your body might be harmful.

    Severe Diseases Caused by Being Overweight

    Here are some of the severe diseases caused by being overweight or obese:

    Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious breathing disorder that can stop your breathing for around 10 seconds. This condition occurs because of the decline in the level of oxygen in the blood and can make you wake up at night. Snoring is a common symptom of the condition. There is also a link between obstructive sleep apnea and other health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and stroke. Not every individual with obesity has obstructive sleep apnea, but being overweight increases your risk of getting the disorder.

    Being overweight causes the accumulation of fat around the neck. This accumulation of fat can cause trouble in breathing and eventually sleep apnea. Experts believe that losing weight helps to improve the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.

    Heart Disease and Stroke

    Stroke is one of the common diseases caused by being overweight. Being overweight makes you more likely to develop high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Having high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are common conditions that put excess stress on the heart, further causing heart ailments. Losing weight helps to improve the condition.

    Not just high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, there are certain factors linked to obesity that increase your risk of developing heart ailments. These factors include health conditions such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, etc.


    It is important to lose weight in a healthy manner and reduce the risk of developing other health conditions. Seek professional help and lose weight in a healthy way with the help of exercise and diet. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 35, then your doctor may even recommend bariatric surgery, but only after getting a cardiac clearance.

    Learn more about Obesity here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Apr 20, 2022

    advertisement iconadvertisement

    Was this article helpful?

    advertisement iconadvertisement
    advertisement iconadvertisement