Increased body weight has been well established as a factor in the onset and severity of many diseases such as non-insulin dependent diabetes melitus (NIDDM or adult-onset diabetes), hypertension, coronary heart disease, and certain cancers. Other illnesses known to be related, in varying degrees, with obesity are: sleep apnea, gall bladder disease, infertility, and degenerative arthritis (caused by the stress on joints from carrying the extra weight).

Today, obesity is second only to smoking as a contributor to illness and premature death.

 

   
If you are overweight, particularly if most of your fat is located around your waist and abdomen (the so-called "apple-shaped figure") chances are very high that you have high cholesterol, dyslipidemia or high blood pressure - three of the risk factors for heart attack or stroke. Anyone with these conditions should be under medical supervision. Weight loss and prevention of weight regain are an essential part of treatment. In most cases, even a modest weight loss (5-10%) can result in dramatic improvement.

 

When you eat, the pancreas (a gland located near the liver) releases insulin into the blood stream. Insulin is required for the cells of the body to use sugar (glucose) as an essential source of energy. Diabetes occurs when the body cannot provide enough insulin or the cells become resistant to the insulin that is there. Obesity has been shown to be an important factor in the onset of adult-onset diabetes, also known as Type II or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Diabetes, if not controlled, can lead to heart disease, kidney failure and blindness. Weight loss is a primary treatment. It has been shown that even a small weight loss can result in a significant improvement.
Extra body weight places a great deal of stress on bones and joints. In time, this extra stress can lead to arthritis of the knees, hips, and ankles. When overweight people lose even a small amount of weight, one of the first things they notice is a reduction in aches and pains.