Health and Beauty

What are the consequences for health?

Obesity is a major pathology of the 21st century. It now constitutes a public health problem on a global scale. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity as “abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that poses a health risk.”

Excess fat mass is therefore not limited to the aesthetic aspect that a person can decide, but is actually a disease that has a strong impact on our health condition.


  • Obesity can cause chronic respiratory failure, poor tissue oxygenation, and increases the risk of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and asthma.
  • Being overweight puts increased stress on the joints, which can lead to premature joint degeneration, including osteoarthritis in the hips, knees, and vertebrae;
  • Obesity is a risk factor for many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hyperuricemia, atherosclerosis, hypertension and several cardiovascular events.

What is the definition of obesity?

The most widely used definition of obesity is that obtained by calculating the body mass index (BMI), also called the “body mass index”. This indicator is the indicator recommended by the World Health Organization.

It is calculated from the patient's weight (in kilograms) and height (in meters) as follows: BMI = weight/(height)²

Calculate your body mass index

BMI values ​​range between 18.5 and 25 kg/m2 with physiological values, and the person is at his ideal weight. The weight ranges between 25 and 30 kg/m2, and the person is overweight. This obesity ranges between 30 and 35 kg/m2 of grade 1, which was previously known as moderate obesity. BMI values ​​between 35 and 40 kg/m2 correspond to class 2 obesity, previously known as severe obesity. Finally, a BMI of more than 40 corresponds to grade 3 obesity, which was previously known as morbid obesity.

It should be noted here that people who exercise a lot can have a higher body mass index without suffering from obesity. This is due to the larger amount of muscle mass they possess, and the fact that muscle weight is heavy. These very athletic people will not have to worry about their BMI, overweight and obesity that go along with excessive accumulation of fat mass.

Waist circumference is also a factor that can determine obesity. Therefore, we talk about excess abdominal obesity when the waist circumference is greater than 94 cm in men and 80 cm in women.

Health consequences of obesity

Respiratory complications

For purely mechanical reasons, obesity hinders the respiratory movements of the rib cage.(1).

Therefore, he may be held liable for respiratory failure Chronic, which will lead to a decrease in the level of oxygen in the blood due to a lack of respiratory supply and thus poor tissue oxygenation(2).

It can also cause an increase in carbon dioxide in the blood due to it not being eliminated.

Furthermore, obesity is a risk factor Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome Or OSAS, a disease that causes nocturnal apnea, that is, periods during which the patient stops breathing(3).

In severe cases, obesity-hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) can lead to right heart failure.

asthma It is also more common in people who are obese(4).
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Complications of osteoporosis

From a purely mechanical point of view, the weight supported by the joints is higher in an obese person, making their joints more at risk of premature degeneration.

So obesity is Risk factor for osteoporosis Hips, knees and vertebrae.

The need for joint prostheses in obese people is more common than in the general population.

Metabolic complications

Obesity is a risk factor for Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. It is also a risk factor for dyslipidemia (blood lipid abnormalities: increased blood triglycerides and/or increased cholesterol).

Let us also emphasize that this excessive accumulation of fat mass leads to Leptin resistance (satiety hormone), which increases the growing feeling of hunger and makes losing weight more difficult(5).

Obesity is a risk factor for hyperuricemia, i.e. an abnormally high level of uric acid in the blood, which can cause Gout attacks. These attacks are very painful attacks, associated with deposits in the joints and tissues of crystals consisting of uric acid.

Cardiovascular risks

Obesity alone is a real cardiovascular risk factor. In particular, it enhances Arteriosclerosis Deposits on the arteries, causing poor blood circulation.

Being overweight also leads to high blood pressure and the venous insufficiency responsible for it Phlebitis Therefore, it can indirectly contribute to the occurrence of many diseases Cardiovascular accidents : Stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, heart failure, retinopathy, etc.

Other complications

Obesity is accompanied by many other complications of a very diverse nature.

  • Overall risk of mortality It increases by approximately 30% in people with a BMI greater than 30 kg/m²;
  • cancer : There is an increased risk of breast, endometrial, uterine, ovarian, colon and prostate cancer in obese patients.

What to remember

Even if obesity is sometimes viewed as a condition that has only an aesthetic effect, it is in fact a real disease with very serious consequences for our health on many levels.

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