The words obesity and overweight are generally used interchangeably. Studies show that overweight individuals who lose even relatively small amounts of weight are likely to benefit in many ways.
By: Marilynn Larkin – U. S. Food and Drug Administration
Obesity is now considered a disease–not a moral failing. According to a 1995 report from the
Public health concerns about this disease relate to its link to numerous other diseases that can lead to premature illness or death. The report notes that overweight individuals who lose even relatively small amounts of weight are likely to:
- Lower their blood pressure (and thereby the risk of heart attack and stroke)
- Reduce abnormally high levels of blood glucose (associated with diabetes)
- Bring blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (associated with cardiovascular disease) down to more desirable levels
- Reduce sleep apnea, or irregular breathing during sleep
- Decrease the risk of osteoarthritis of the weight-bearing joints
- Decrease depression
- Increase self-esteem
Of course, losing excess weight is also likely to improve appearance, which is a strong motivation for many people.