The link between BMI and health risks is well established. Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for many diseases and health conditions:
High blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension refers to increased pressure as blood flows through the arteries. Elevated blood pressure forces the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood throughout the body.
High blood cholesterol or dyslipidemia (abnormal levels of fat in the blood) occurs when levels of cholesterol (a type of fat that your body needs to work properly) and other fats in the blood are not normal. There are different types of fats in the blood, including LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol), HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol), and triglycerides. Too much LDL and triglycerides, and too little HDL increases your risk for developing heart disease, stroke, and other circulatory problems.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin and/or the body’s cells have trouble using the insulin it does produce. Insulin is necessary for sugar (glucose) to be taken up by body cells for energy production. Without insulin, blood sugar levels build up in the blood. If untreated, serious complications result.
Coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease (CHD or CAD): CHD or CAD is the leading cause of death in the United States for men and women. It is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
Stroke occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a portion of the brain is blocked. Without oxygen, brain cells start to die after a few minutes. There are two major types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. These may be caused by clogged arteries from accumulation of fat, cholesterol, and other substances that collect on the artery walls, or from other causes like a blood clot traveling from elsewhere in the body to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel in part of the brain becomes weak and bursts open, causing blood to leak into the brain.
Gallbladder disease occurs when bile, which is normally stored in the gall bladder and helps digest dietary fat, becomes concentrated and thick. Gallstones are formed when bile hardens.
Osteoarthritis is a gradual deterioration of the joint tissue due to excessive wear and tear.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, or shallow breaths occur, during sleep because of partial or total blockage of the airway.
Cancer, including cancer of the esophagus, breast, endometrium, colon and rectum, kidneys, pancreas, thyroid, gallbladder, and possibly others are associated with overweight and obesity.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) NAFLD is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. In NASH, fat in the liver is accompanied by inflammation and fibrosis, or scarring, of the liver. NASH is an advanced form of NAFLD. NAFLD and NASH affect the liver in the same way that alcoholic liver disease does, but NAFLD and NASH occur in people who drink little or no alcohol.
Quality of life is an indicator of general well-being that incorporates physical and mental factors.