Long-Term Effects of Obesity

Jul 04, 2023
Long-Term Effects of Obesity
Obesity can cause some in-the-moment discomfort like joint pain and sleep issues. But the real dangers are the long-term effects which can be a little less conspicuous. Learn more about the long-term effects of obesity.

Extra body fat can overburden your heart and cause complex changes to your hormones. These are just two of many ways in which obesity affects your body in both the short term and the long term. 

Despite having one of the lowest obesity rates in the United States, Colorado has an obesity rate of over 7%. Another 11.1% of Coloradans are overweight and at risk of developing obesity and its complications in the future. If you’re concerned about your weight or its associated health risks, now is an excellent time to take the initiative with professional guidance. 

Physicians Weight Loss Center Highlands Ranch in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is dedicated to reversing and reducing the health impact of long-term obesity. If you’re ready to take charge of your weight and wellness, our highly trained medical weight-loss team is committed to seeing your wellness journey through with custom diet plansweight-loss medicationsinjections, and tailored lifestyle recommendations.

Even if you don’t currently have any diagnosed medical conditions related to obesity, your extra body fat could be compromising your health more than you realize. Unfortunately, many health complications associated with obesity are symptomless. Others can occur without warning and can lower your lifespan. It’s imperative to be aware of the long-term effects of obesity so you can attend to your health and take preventive measures. 

The changes that occur with excess weight

When you gain substantial weight, your organs and organ systems must make specific accommodations. One system that can undergo major changes over time due to obesity is your cardiovascular system, comprised of your heart and blood vessels. 

Your heart works harder to pump oxygenated blood to every corner of your body when you’re obese than when you’re at an average weight for someone of your stature. Not only that, but your body must produce a higher volume of blood for circulation, which can elevate your blood pressure alongside co-occurring conditions like atherosclerosis. 

There are myriad cardiovascular conditions that can arise over time that are closely linked to obesity. Obesity can be a direct or indirect cause of:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure

The risk for cardiovascular conditions like these can be exacerbated by obstructive sleep apnea, another condition that obesity can cause. When you have obstructive sleep apnea, your airways struggle to stay open while you breathe at night. As a result, you cannot get adequate oxygen, your blood pressure can rise, and your risk for life-threatening events like heart attacks and stroke gets higher still. 

Chronic conditions and their impact

While it’s technically a chronic condition itself, obesity is also a cause of many other chronic diseases. These are medical conditions you must actively manage with ongoing care because they affect you for as little as a year to as long as a lifetime. 

Aside from cardiovascular disease and sleep apnea, obesity increases your likelihood of these long-term illnesses:

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the result of too much blood sugar and insulin resistance. If you have insulin resistance, it means the hormone insulin cannot efficiently transfer glucose from your blood into your cells for use as energy. The result is high glucose, which can eventually cause complications like vision decline, kidney dysfunction, and neuropathy. 


Osteoarthritis can cause chronic back or joint pain and can eventually limit your mobility. Obesity increases stress on your joints and back causing damage and inflammation within them.


You’re more likely to experience lasting complications from specific infections, including COVID-19, if you’re overweight or obese. Severe COVID and COVID complications may lead to respiratory complications that call for mechanical assistance for breathing. 

While these and other obesity complications are treatable, even modest weight loss can lower your risk for them substantially. In fact, weight loss can improve these conditions if you’re overweight and already have them.

Call Physicians Weight Loss Center Highlands Ranch or book an appointment online to improve your well-being and longevity with individualized weight management care today.