Dr. Starpoli's Blog

Obesity and Chronic Disease: The Scary Facts You Need to Know

Posted by Anthony A. Starpoli, MD on Dec 4, 2019 1:27:27 PM

Obesity affects almost 40% of adult Americans.

Each year it causes about 1 in 5 deaths, according to a study by the American Journal of Public Health. Obesity is also linked with chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer.

With so much of the population struggling with obesity and chronic disease, it's clear it's a public health crisis.

The Link Between Obesity and Chronic Disease

Obesity is a chronic disease.

The term obesity refers to when a person has an excessive amount of body fat that affects their overall health. To determine this, you check your body mass index. You can use a BMI calculator for this. It checks your weight against your height.

Aside from obesity being a chronic disease, it also leads to other chronic diseases and health problems.

Obesity Health Risks

There are multiple mental and physical conditions obesity can cause:

  • Heart Disease & Stroke - Obesity causes high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Both of these, in turn, cause heart disease and stroke.
  • Type 2 Diabetes - Obesity leads to high blood sugar levels. As these levels continue to rise and do not go down, your body falls behind. It becomes unable to keep up and regulate your blood sugar. This then becomes a chronic condition that leads to diabetes. 
  • Osteoarthritis - The extra pressure obesity places on joints wears away at cartilage. This leads to arthritis in the knees, hip, or back.
  • Gallbladder Disease - Both gallbladder disease and gallstones can develop if you're obese. Once you start trying to lose weight, go at a slow and steady pace, as losing weight at a fast pace can cause gallstones to form.
  • Sleep Apnea - The extra weight placed around the lungs leads to sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea cause people to snore or even stop breathing while asleep for a brief time.
  • Cancers - Multiple types of cancer are linked to obesity. These include cancers of the: colon, breast, kidney, and esophagus.
  • Depression - The chemicals in the brain become unbalanced, and coupled with obesity often causing poor self-esteem and hindering certain aspects of quality life, depression develops.

The number of people living with obesity has increased at a steady rate since the 1980s. The health problems posed by obesity, added with the landslide effect it has in causing additional chronic diseases, leads to more expensive healthcare. A person with obesity can expect to pay $1,429 more in medical costs than the average person.

If weight gain has caused adverse health effects for you, losing the extra pounds should be your top priority. Either through exercise and dieting or a non-surgical procedure, there are many routes to pursue weight loss.

Safeguard Your Health

Your health is one of the most important things in your life. Obesity and chronic disease are difficult conditions to live with and leads to even further health complications. To prevent additional problems from forming, consider ways to pursue weight loss now while you can.


Schedule an appointment today with Greenwich Village Gastroenterology to start on the path to weight loss.Obesity and Chronic Disease: The Scary Facts You Need to KnowObesity and Chronic Disease: The Scary Facts You Need to KnowObesity and Chronic Disease: The Scary Facts You Need to Know

Obesity, chronic disease