TABLE 2-1 Physical Health, Psychosocial, and Functional Consequences of Obesity Over the Life Course

Physical Health Psychosocial Functional

• Cardiovascular disease

• Cancer

• Glucose intolerance and insulin resistance

• Type 2 diabetes

• Hypertension

• Dyslipidemia

• Hepatic steatosis

• Choleslitasis

• Sleep apnea

• Reduced productivity

• Menstrual abnormalities

• Orthopedic problems

• Gallbladder disease

• Hyperuricemia and gout

• Stigma

• Negative stereotyping

• Discrimination

• Teasing and bullying

• Social marginalization

• Low self-esteem

• Negative body image

• Depression

• Unemployment

• Mobility limitations

• Disability

• Low physical fitness

• Absenteeism from school or work

• Disqualification from active service in the military and fire/police services

• Reduction of cerebral blood flow

• Reduced academic performance

SOURCE: Adapted from IOM, 2010a.

ditions, and is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. High blood pressure affects a third of U.S. adults aged 20 and over and more than half of adults aged 55 and older. Together high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke affect 37 to 39 percent of women and men aged 40 to 59 and 72 to 73 percent of women and men aged 60 to 79. Eight percent of adults have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, another 3 percent are undiagnosed, and an additional 37 percent have prediabetes (Roger et al., 2011). Both high blood pressure and diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed) increased between 1988-1994 and 2005-2008 at the same time that increases in obesity were observed (see below). And a growing literature suggests various types of reductions in brain structural integrity (due to low blood flow to the brain) among both obese adolescents and adults (Gunstad et al., 2006; Maayan et al., 2011; Willeumier et al., 2011). In addition to these physical risks, obese adults face discrimination in employment settings and are subjected to inappropriate slurs and humor (Puhl and Heuer, 2001; Wear et al., 2006).

Obese children and adolescents also suffer an array of obesity-related comorbidities, ranging from sleep apnea, to type 2 diabetes, to hypertension, to liver disease, to orthopedic problems. These conditions over time may contribute to



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