How does weight affect health?

People who maintain a normal body weight are positively impacting their overall health. Thirty-five percent (35%) of US adults are overweight and an additional thirty percent (30%) are obese. Sixteen percent (16%) of US children and teens are also overweight. As a person's weight increases, the prevalence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and of metabolic syndrome increase. (For more information, read HeartFact Metabolic Syndrome). If we look at the American workforce, thirty-five percent (35%) of obese workers have high blood pressure and fifty-four percent (54%) have metabolic syndrome. Twelve percent (12%) of obese workers have Type 2 diabetes - a threefold increase in risk. Other ways in which excess weigh affects health include:

  • Increases LDL or low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol)
  • Lowers HDL or high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol)
  • Affects joints and mobility
  • Can cause gall bladder disease
  • Can cause sleep apnea and other respiratory problems
  • Can impact some cancers