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 a little bit overweight may not cause too many noticeable problems. However, once you are carrying a few extra kilograms (or pounds), you may develop symptoms that affect your daily life.

Short-term problems

Day-to-day, obesity causes problems such as:

  • breathlessness,
  • increased sweating,
  • snoring,
  • difficulty sleeping,
  • inability to cope with sudden physical activity,
  • feeling very tired every day, and
  • back and joint pains.

Long-term problems

Obesity can also cause changes that you may not notice, but that can seriously harm your health, such as:

In the longer term, obesity greatly increases your risk of a number of serious medical conditions. See the complications section for details of these.

Psychological problems

In addition to the day-to-day problems of obesity, many people may also experience psychological problems (problems to do with mental health). These may include:

  • having low self-esteem,
  • having a poor self-image (not liking how you look),
  • having low confidence levels,
  • feeling isolated in society, or
  • having reduced mobility leading to a poor quality of life.

These can affect your relationships with family members and friends, and if they become severe, may lead to depression.

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