WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

NHS Choices Condition

Content supplied by NHS Choices

Being obese can lead to a number of serious health problems, as well as shorten your life expectancy (how long you should live). In 2004, it was estimated that 34,100 deaths were due to obesity. This is 6.8% of all the deaths in England.

Health problems

Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of a number of health problems, including:

  • high blood pressure (hypertension) - this is a major risk factor for developing a serious cardiovascular disease (conditions that can affect the circulation of blood around the body),
  • infertility - when you cannot get pregnant despite having regular unprotected sex,
  • type 2 diabetes - a chronic (long-term) condition that is caused by too much glucose in the blood,
  • many types of cancer - when the body's cells begin to grow and reproduce in an uncontrollable way,
  • heart disease - when your heart’s blood supply is blocked, 
  • stroke - when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted.
  • asthma - when the airways of the lungs (the bronchi) become inflamed (swollen),
  • osteoarthritis - a condition that affects the joints,
  • chronic (long-term) back pain - particularly lower back pain, and
  • depression - when you have feelings of extreme sadness, despair or inadequacy that last for a long time.
view information about Obesity on www.nhs.co.uk »

Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here