The Five Problems That Obesity Causes

The first problem of obesity to focus on is the one that many obese people think about the least – you are less likely to live a long life if you are too f…

1. Reduced Life Expectancy

The first problem of obesity to focus on is the one that many obese people think about the least – you are less likely to live a long life if you are too fat. The life insurance companies have known this for a long time. They know that, for life insurance purposes, the fatter you are the worse the risk you are to them.

The centers for disease control in Atlanta, Georgia, estimated that, depending on how you calculate the numbers, there were between 112,000 and 380,000 excess deaths from obesity-related disease in the United States during the year 2000. Whichever figure is correct, or something in between, it is a horrific statistic, far worse than road deaths (43,000) or terrorism (0) for that year. Even the young are paying a price for their obesity. Teenagers entering adulthood with a BMI greater than 40 would have their life expectancy reduced by up to 13 years for a male and 8 years for a female. That is a major part of their life lost before they are even adults. The risk of early death from obesity is similar to the risk from smoking.

2. Medical Diseases

A pathogen is something that causes diseases. Obesity is the consummate pathogen. It causes or makes worse a broad range of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension, sleep apnea, depression, a range of cancers including breast, gynecological and gastrointestinal malignancies, abnormal levels of fats in the blood, polycystic ovary syndrome, inflammation of the liver, and osteoarthritis of the lower spine and joints that bear your weight, such as the hips, knees and feet.

Also, obese people are more at risk of accidents at work, at home or on the road, and are more likely to suffer sudden unexplained death.

3. Physical Limitations

Morbidly obese people often cannot do the things that others can do. Sporting activities are generally out, which excludes them from many family pastimes. Physical activity of any sort can be quite difficult due to shortness of breath or just plain tiredness, so that even housework or standard employment is a challenge.

Most morbidly obese people cannot buy clothes easily and some have difficulty getting into and out of cars, or into seats on the bus or at the theater. Airplane travel can be a major embarrassment. You may need to ask for an extension for the seat belt. You may not be able to lower the table down. You may see the person allocated the seat next to you go to the flight attendant and ask for another seat. Just the thought of these things happening can put you off travel.

Flexibility is reduced. The toes get progressively out of reach or even out of sight, making cutting the toenails a shared responsibility. Personal hygiene becomes a problem if you cannot get the toilet paper or the towel to reach all the nooks and crannies.

4. Social Isolation

Many people who are morbidly obese feel uncomfortable in public. Commonly they sense that other people are looking at them and commenting on their weight and the difficulties it produces in dressing well and moving easily. They prefer to withdraw – to live within the family circle at home, rarely venturing into the public gaze.

This may help them cope with the embarrassment but equally it deprives them of the chance to work, to join the family in outside activities and to join friends socially. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that the morbidly obese have a low level of self-esteem and a feeling of worthlessness and uselessness. It is common for obese people to suffer depression. They hate their appearance. They feel that they are unattractive to their partner or children and to others.

Obese people suffer social bias, prejudice and discrimination as a result of their appearance. Society stigmatizes the obesity. Obesity is probably the only area left where discrimination is still considered acceptable. Unfavorable remarks about someone because of their sex, race or disability are not acceptable in our society today, and rightly so. However, unfavorable remarks about someone’s obesity are still okay. This attitude is implanted early. When children are shown the silhouette of an obese person they describe the person as ugly, dirty, lazy, stupid, dishonest, weak-willed, awkward, a liar and a cheat.

5. Economic Considerations

Obesity costs the community a great deal in view of the high healthcare needs of the obese. These costs are both the direct costs of investigating and treating obesity-related diseases, such as physician visits, tests, medicines and hospitalizations, and the indirect costs, such as the wages lost because of illness or disability or the loss of future earnings because of premature death. In the United States, these costs were estimated by the US Department of Health and Human Services to be $117 billion for the year 2000. This was made up of $61 billion for direct costs and $56 billion for indirect costs. Major contributors to this total costs are heart disease ($9 billion), osteoarthritis ($21 billion), high blood pressure ($4 billion), gallbaldder disease ($3 billion), and cancers of the breast, uterus and colon ($7 billion). Nearly 40 million annual workdays were lost. It was estimated that, in the year 2000 in the United States, people made 63 million visits to their physician because of obesity-related problems.

Whichever way you look at these numbers, we are spending a great deal on obesity. If these costs could be reduced by weight loss, it would pay for a lot of treatments.


Obesity is truly a problem. It is the worst cause of disease in the Western world. It leads to early death in more people than almost any other cause. What life you do have is severely reduced in quality because of the physical and social problems generated by the disease. And it costs us as a community a great deal of money because of the direct and indirect effects of the health problems. If losing weight solves even some of these problems, and if we can find an acceptable and effective way to lose weight, we really should go for it.  Dallas Weight Loss clinic T .