Obesity is linked with some of the most prevalent and costly medical problems seen in daily practice. Obesity alone is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, cancer, and early death. In combination with the metabolic syndrome, it further increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. In sum, obesity affects at least nine organ systems of the body.
Note that the psychosocial complications of obesity may be as significant as the physical health concerns. Obese people, particularly those with extreme obesity, may experience discrimination and other difficulties in the workplace or in personal relationships, leadingto poor self-esteem, social withdrawal, depression, and other mental health problems. In addition, obesity may lower the individual’s perception of general health, while comorbid disorders and their effect on physical function may lower morale.Both psychosocial and other medical factors contribute to a decline in general health and quality of life. A continuum has been observed between mildly, moderately, and severely obese individuals, with quality of life worsening with increasing body weight and the number of acquired comorbid illnesses.