Lose fat, be healthy – why?

Losing excess fat leads to better health

Woman on scalesBeing overweight or obese can lead to all sorts of health problems. If you lose the excess fat your weight will drop and your risk of other health problems will fall too.

So, why lose excess body fat? Read on…

Health problems caused by excess body fat

Here is a list of some health problems linked with being overweight to demonstrate why it is important to lose this excess fat.

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease includes health problems such as angina, heart attacks and strokes.

As your body fat percentage rises so does your risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is usually the result of damage to the lining of your blood vessels caused by fatty deposits, with blood clots forming within. This disease process is often called atherosclerosis.

This damage narrows the blood vessels, which can restrict blood flow to essential organs such as the heart and brain. A reduction in blood flow to the heart muscle causes the chest pain know as angina.

If blood clots and fat deposits in blood vessels become detached from the vessel lining this can travel downstream, completely blocking blood vessels. If this happens in the heart’s coronary arteries it can cause a heart attack. If this happens in the brain’s arteries it can cause a stroke.

High blood pressure

Although the links between obesity and high blood pressure (hypertension) and clear, the ways in which obesity causes hypertension are not.

It may be that obesity activates the fight or flight response, making your heart pump more blood, while at the same time constricts blood vessels, which increases blood pressure. Obesity can also cause your kidneys to reduce urine production, which causes fluid retention and increased blood pressure.

High blood pressure damages blood vessel walls, causing cardiovascular disease to develop faster. If there are weak spots in blood vessel walls the increased blood pressure can cause them to swell and even burst.

The increased blood pressure makes it more difficult for your heart to pump blood into the circulation, which can cause your heart to become enlarged leading to heart failure.

Abnormal blood lipids (blood fats)

High levels of body fat can cause in increase in the levels of fat in your blood. These high levels of fat in the blood can increase your risk of developing various diseases. There are different types of fat found in the blood, including triglycerides and cholesterol.

High levels of blood triglycerides can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. High levels of cholesterol, particularly LDL-cholesterol (often called “bad” cholesterol) can increase your risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

It should be noted that HDL cholesterol, sometimes called “good” cholesterol lowers risks since this is cholesterol that is being removed from the bloodstream, which reduces risks.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors associated with being overweight or obese that increase the danger of developing several of the health problems outlined here.

The factors in metabolic syndrome include a large waistline caused by belly fat, high blood triglyceride levels, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high blood sugar.

Type-2 diabetes

The differences between type-1 and type-2 diabetes are not always understood by people.

Type-1 diabetes often develops in young people and is caused by the pancreas losing the ability to produce insulin. Since insulin enables the body to use sugar in the blood for energy, this lack of insulin caused high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and weight loss due to body fat stores being used for energy.

Type-2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, where the pancreas produces insulin but the body ignores it. Insulin resistance can develop if you are overweight due to high levels of body fat with high levels of blood fats.


Being overweight or obese has been linked with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer. The types of cancer linked with obesity include, cancers of the uterus, ovaries, gallbladder, kidney, cervix, thyroid, liver, colon.

Breathing problems

High levels of body fat can cause breathing problems. Belly fat build-up around the abdomen can make it difficult for the chest to expand, so you will find it more difficult to breath, particularly when sitting or lying down. Neck fat can narrow the airways leading to breathing difficulties while asleep , which is known as sleep apnea.


The gall bladder stores bile produced by the liver. This bile is passed down the bile duct and added to the food in your intestines to help digestion of fats.

High body fat levels increase the amount of fat in the blood, which can lead to hard fatty deposits forming in the gall bladder. These are called gall stones. Gall stones can irritate the gall bladder and block the bile duct, which is very painful and often needs surgery.


Gout is caused by a build in the joints of a chemical called uric acid. People who are obese have high levels of uric acid in their blood, which can accumulate in joints causing painful gout.


Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis associated with damage to the joints. Arthritis means that the joints have become inflamed, and this can be very painful.

Being overweight puts extra pressure on the joints, particularly the weight-bearing joints like hips, knees and ankles. This extra pressure causes joint damage leading to osteoarthritis.

Mental health problems

Obesity has been linked with mental health problems such as depression. This seems to involve a two-way relationship between obesity and mental health issues. If you are obese you may worry about your body image, and become depressed about it.

Being depressed can cause you to eat more, which causes further weight gain. Also, if you are worried about how you look due to being overweight or obese you may avoid going out. This reduces the amount of activity and exercise you get, which can also result in further weight gain.

Lose fat, become more healthy

So, it would appear that being overweight or obese can increase your risk of all sorts of health problems. On the website we look at how you can lose fat from various parts of your body including body fat generally, belly fat, thigh fat, arm fat and face fat.

The information on this website is about losing excess body fat to become more healthy. All of the information used to write the articles here says that being overweight or obese is bad for your health. The conclusion seems to be that if you lose body fat you will be more healthy.

Most of the sources used for this article refer to body mass index, but this has been shown to be an unreliable measure of obesity. We are going to talk about body fat percentage here instead, because although it is more complicated to calculate, it is actually the amount of body fat we have that we are talking about.