Are there disorders or conditions associated with obesity & overweight?

In adults, being overweight or obese increases the risks for several problems, including1,2:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain types of cancer
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Unhealthy levels of certain types of blood fats, such as high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides
  • Stroke
  • Liver and gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis, a breaking down of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint
  • Gynecological problems, such as infertility.

Overweight and obesity also increase the health risks for children and teens. For example, type 2 diabetes once was rare in American children, but the number of children with it today has grown rapidly. Early onset of type 2 diabetes can cause the early onset of complications such as vision loss, nerve damage, and cardiovascular disease.3 Researchers express concern that because of obesity, today's children will be the first generation that may not live as long as their parents.4

Some of the possible effects of obesity in children include:5

  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Liver disease
  • Sleep apnea and other lung-related problems
  • Problems related to bone development
  • Early onset of menstruation for girls
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood

In addition, overweight children are more likely to become overweight or obese as adults.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Overweight and obesity: Causes and consequences. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from
  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2012). What are the health risks of overweight and obesity? Retrieved August 8, 2012, from
  3. Hannon, T. S., Rao, G., & Arslanian, S. A. (2005). Childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Pediatrics, 116(2), 473–480.
  4. Olshansky, S. J., Passaro, D. J., Hershow, R. C., Layden, J., Carnes, B. A., Brody, J., et al. (2005). A potential decline in life expectancy in the United States in the 21st century. New England Journal of Medicine, 352, 1138–1145.
  5. Han, J. C., Lawlor, D. A., Kimm, S. Y. (2010). Childhood obesity. Lancet, 375, 1737–1748.

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