Health Risks of Having Excess Weights


What are the risks of having excess weight or obesity?

People living with excess weight or obesity have an increased risk of developing:

  • some cancers 
  • type 2 diabetes
  • high cholesterol
  • coronary heart disease
  • high blood pressure (also called hypertension)
  • heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack, stroke and vascular dementia.

Having excess weight or obesity can contribute a slow build-up of a fatty substance (called atheroma) in your arteries. This narrows the space for blood to flow. When arteries can’t deliver enough blood to the heart or the brain it can cause heart and circulatory diseases. 

As well as having an increased risk of developing health conditions, many people with excess weight or obesity can experience: 

poor sleep or snoring
joint pain or back pain
having a low mood or low energy
finding it difficult to be physically active.

I am living with excess weight or obesity; how can I lose weight safely?

  • Eating a balanced diet and being physically active can help you have a healthy weight and maintain it. You can try some easy changes that’ll work for your lifestyle today. 

To have a healthy balanced diet, you can: 

  • Eat regular meals during the day will help you get essential nutrients and burn calories.
  • Not skipping meals, like breakfast, will reduce the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.
  • Try to have 5 portions of fruit or vegetables every day because they are low in fat and calories, and high in fibre which can support weight loss. You can buy frozen fruits and vegetables to keep your costs and food waste low.
  • Plan all your meals for the week and use a shopping list. This can help you avoid being tempted to buy things you don’t need like sugary and savoury snacks. It can also help you stick to your food budget.
  • Cook food at home instead of eating ready meals or takeaways to help you control what goes into your meal. You can try making multiple portions at once and freezing some to save you time later in the week.
  • Read the labels on the food you’re buying. Even if your food package says it’s lower fat, it might not be better for you. You can check the amount of ‘total fat’ and ‘saturated fat’ (unhealthy fat) per serving. Or if the nutrition label uses the traffic-light colours, try to look for labels that are mostly green which are healthier.

What are the benefits of having a healthy weight or BMI? 

There’s lots of good reasons to have a healthy weight and BMI, like: 

  • it might improve your mood and your self-confidence
  • it can increase your energy levels and help you feel less tired
  • it may make it easier for you to move around and be physically active
  • it will reduce your risk of developing health problems like high blood pressure, cancer and heart and circulatory diseases.

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