Negative health effects of obesity

Over 72 million people in the U.S. are considered obese which may cause many negative health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

America has an obesity problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over one-third of U.S. adults (over 72 million people) and 17 percent of U.S. children are obese. A 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) report indicates that over 30 percent of Michigan adults are considered obese. Studies are also showing that obesity rates continue to climb. From 1980-2008, adult obesity rates doubled and for children, these statistics tripled. Michigan State University Extension offers programs that educate on the effects of obesity.

The health effects of being overweight or obese can increase your chances of developing certain health conditions, including:

  • Heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • High Cholesterol
  • Liver and gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Arthritis

Are you concerned about your current weight? Perhaps your clothes are getting tighter or you’ve been told by your doctor that you need to lose weight because your blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels are too high. Adult Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool that you can use to determine if your weight is at a healthy level. Calculating your BMI will help determine if your range of weight is considered underweight, normal, overweight or obese.

CDC provides a couple of websites that can help you calculate your BMI, select Adult BMI Calculator or Adult BMI Table.

If you find out you are overweight or obese, it’s important to consult your doctor so that your risk factors can be assessed and you can be given guidance on how to begin the process of losing weight through diet and exercise.

For more information on how to assess your weight, visit

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