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What are possible risks of excess body fat?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
It is estimated that the average person gains at least one pound of fat and loses one-half pound of muscle each year beginning at age 20 unless he or she makes a lifestyle change. Excess body fat places you at high risk for heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems and certain cancers, especially of the breast and endometrium (uterus). Obesity is expensive, too. The National Institutes of Health estimates that obesity-related disease costs the nation approximately $100 billion each year.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

One in five people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or other functional bowel disorders. As a result, irritable bowel syndrome is the second leading cause of worker absenteeism. This...
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Carrying excess body fat increases your risk for many medical conditions. They include:

  • arthritis
  • gallstones
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • liver disease
  • osteoarthritis
  • osteoporosis, or fragile bones
  • sleep apnea
  • type 2 diabetes

Increasingly, research suggests that packing on too much body fat may also raise the risk for certain types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer. If you're overweight, talk to your doctor about how you can lose weight and lower your risk for these and other health threats.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.