Obesity is associated with multiple comorbidities1-4

Most common comorbidities of obesity

“…obesity…threatens to reduce [a person’s] health in the future even if no health impairment is observed…in the present.”5


Number of Comorbidities
Associated with Obesity, According to the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA).6

Studies have shown weight loss of 5% or more to have an impact on comorbidities and common complications of obesity, including:

  • Type 2 diabetes7
  • CV risk factors7
  • Sleep apnea8

Risk of mortality is significantly increased9

Research showed a decreased life expectancy of up to 10 years.


Increased BMI associated with decreased life expectancy

For every 5 kg/m2 BMI increment above the range of 22.5 kg/m2 to 25 kg/m2, there is a 30% increase in overall mortality.9

Chart showing association of increased BMI and life expectancy

Adapted from Prospective Studies Collaboration. Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in 900 000 adults: collaborative analyses of 57 prospective studies. Lancet. 2009;373(9669):1083-1096. Data from male subjects.

In 2015, high BMI contributed to 4 million deaths, which represented 7% of the deaths from any cause.10

Also in The Science of Obesity:




  1. Guh DP, Zhang W, Bansback N, Amarsi Z, Birmingham CL, Anis AH. The incidence of co-morbidities related to obesity and overweight: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health. 2009;9:88. doi: 1186/1471-2458-9-88
  2. Must A, Spadano J, Coakley EH, Field AE, Colditz G, Dietz WH. The disease burden associated with overweight and obesity. JAMA. 1999;282(16):1523-1529.
  3. Li C, Ford ES, Zhao G, Croft JB, Balluz LS, Mokdad AH. Prevalence of self-reported clinically diagnosed sleep apnea according to obesity status in men and women: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2006. Prev Med. 2010;51(1):18-23.
  4. Bhaskaran K, Douglas I, Forbes H, dos-Santos-Silva I, Leon DA, Smeeth L. Body-mass index and risk of 22 specific cancers: a population-based cohort study of 5·24 million UK adults. Lancet. 2014;384(9945):755-765.
  5. Allison DB, Downey M, Atkinson RL, et al. Obesity as a disease: a white paper on evidence and arguments commissioned by the Council of the Obesity Society. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008;16(6):1161-1177.
  6. Bays HE, Seger JC, Primack C, et al. Obesity algorithm 2016-2017. Presented by the Obesity Medicine Association. https://obesitymedicine.org/obesity-algorithm. Accessed April 20, 2018.
  7. Wing RR, Lang W, Wadden TA, et al. Benefits of modest weight loss in improving cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2011;34(7):1481-1486.
  8. Tuomilehto H, Seppä J, Uusitupa M, et al. The impact of weight reduction in the prevention of the progression of obstructive sleep apnea: an explanatory analysis of a 5-year observational follow-up trial. Sleep Med. 2014;15(3):329-335.
  9. Prospective Studies Collaboration, Whitlock G, Lewington S, et al. Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in 900 000 adults: collaborative analyses of 57 prospective studies. Lancet. 2009;373(9669):1083-1096.
  10. GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators. Health effects of overweight and obesity in 195 countries over 25 years. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(1):13-27.