Obesity Related Health Conditions


Type 2 Diabetes:

Obese individuals develop a resistance to insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. Over time, the resulting high blood sugar can cause serious damage to the body. Type 2 Diabetes represents over 85% of the diabetes (Type 1 representing about 15%) and most Type 2 Diabetics are obese to Morbidly Obese. Whereas this disease was unheard of in children 25 years ago, it is one of the biggest epidemics in adolescent medicine at the present time.

High Blood Pressure/Heart Disease:

Excess body weight strains the ability of the heart to function properly. The resulting hypertension (high blood pressure) can result in strokes, as well as inflict significant heart and kidney damage.

Osteoarthritis of Weight-bearing Joints:

The additional weight placed on joints, particularly knees and hips, results in rapid wear and tear, along with pain caused by inflammation. Similarly, bones and muscles of the back are constantly strained, resulting in disk problems, pain and decreased mobility.

Sleep Apnea/ Respiratory Problem:

Fat deposits in the tongue and neck can cause intermittent obstruction of the air passage. Because the obstruction is increased when sleeping on your back, you may find yourself waking frequently to reposition yourself. The resulting loss of sleep often results in daytime drowsiness and headaches. A resent study shows significant life lost to traffic accidents due to sleep apnea and at a price tag of over one billion dollar.

Gastroesophageal Reflux/ Heartburn:

Acid belongs in the stomach and seldom causes any problem when it stays there. When acid escapes into the esophagus through a weak or overloaded valve at the top of the stomach, the result is called gastroesophageal reflux, and "heartburn" and acid indigestion are common symptoms. Approximately 10-15% of patients with even mild sporadic symptoms of heartburn will develop a condition called Barrett's esophagus, which is a pre-malignant change in the lining membrane of the esophagus, a cause of esophageal cancer.


Though there is not a higher rate or incidence of “mental illness” in the morbidly obese population, the incidence of depression is high. Seriously overweight persons face constant challenges to their emotions: repeated failure with dieting, disapproval from family and friends, peers and remarks from strangers. They often experience discrimination at work, cannot fit comfortably in theatre seats, or ride in a bus or plane.


The inability or diminished ability to produce offspring. This is probably because of an estrogen-like compound produced by the fat that “confuses” the reproductive system. This “un-opposed estrogen” is probably the cause of several of the associated conditions.

Urinary Stress Incontinence:

A large, heavy abdomen and relaxation of the pelvic muscles, especially associated with the effects of childbirth, may cause the valve on the urinary bladder to be weakened, leading to leakage of urine with coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Though this is not life threatening it does change people’s lives. Often our female patients who suffer most from this condition become reclusive and homebound. The discomfort, inconvenience and embarrassment is often overwhelming.

Menstrual Irregularities:

Morbidly obese individuals often experience disruptions of the menstrual cycle, including interruption of the menstrual cycle, abnormal menstrual flow and increased pain associated with the menstrual cycle.

Cholesterol and Triglyceride Abnormalities:

These are the fat levels in the serum of the blood that increase the risk of heart disease.

Some Cancers:

Morbid Obesity increases ones chances of suffering from some cancers like breast, and uterine cancers.