| 2/01/2018

The Everyday Toll of Excess Weight On the Body

At Ramsay Health Care UK, we have created an all-new interact body map to raise awareness of the many negative effects that carrying extra weight can have on an individual, from affecting daily routine to long term health problems, including pressure on the joints and overall mental health.

The map below can be used by clicking on each highlighted icon to reveal the impact this can cause to multiple body parts


In England, 61.9% of adults and 28% of children aged between 2 and 15 are overweight or obese. The map aims to raise awareness of the associated risks and help people to live a more healthy life.

Many people want to improve their health through losing weight, eating better and exercising more. These goals are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions among Brits year after year, and in 2017, almost half (48%) of those who made a New Year’s resolution said that they wanted to lose weight. However, only 8% of people managed to successfully keep to their resolution and lose the desired weight. This comes as no surprise, as making big lifestyle changes can be extremely challenging.

Overall health

If you’re carrying extra weight, you are at significantly higher risk of multiple different health problems than someone who is a healthier weight.

Mental health

Excessive weight gain can cause several psychological problems including depression and anxiety. Maintaining a healthy weight has proven to encourage a healthier mind, associated with overall improved quality of life and happiness.  


Research shows that being overweight can raise your cholesterol and blood pressure. These are major risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) the single most common cause of death in the UK. Research shows that being overweight can boost the risk of heart disease by 32%, rising to 81% in obese patients. While CHD cannot be cured, lifestyle changes or surgery can reduce the risks of serious problems such as heart attacks.

Respiratory problems

Excess fat on the lung can have severe damaging effects and lead to respiratory problems; including asthma and sleep discomfort. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is often associated with sleep apnoea. This condition is more prevalent in overweight or obese people and comes from the deterioration of the respiratory system when the airways become blocked, often due to excess fat in the lungs. Healthy lungs can help improve or even cure sleep apnoea, allowing a better sleeping pattern.


Gynecomastia, commonly referred to as ‘man boobs’ is a common problem in overweight males. This is when the breasts swell and become larger than normal, a common reason behind this condition is that being overweight can increase levels of oestrogen and encourage breast tissue growth.


The pancreas is located between the liver and the stomach, if the pancreas becomes painful and inflamed this can lead to a condition known as Pancreatitis. Further complications could cause secondary diabetes, where the body struggles to naturally regulate glucose and blood sugar levels.


Excess fat disposition in the liver can result in serious liver problems such as liver cancer and even liver failure if left untreated. Higher body weight, a diet high in processed sugar and high triglycerides all play a role in causing fatty liver. As the second largest organ in the body, the liver is responsible for a wide range of functions therefore maintaining low levels of fat in the liver is crucial to overall health.


Obesity or extra weight can also put added pressure on the bladder, causing it to less comfortable. Sudden reflexes such as coughing or sneezing can also trigger urine incontinence.


Being overweight can affect a woman’s chances of conceiving. Hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation are problems often associated with obese women having their first child. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is closely associated with obesity and is a common hormonal condition which can also cause infertility. Early diagnosis, living a healthier lifestyle and treatment can help optimise fertility.


Excess body weight leads to extra pressure on our key joints. This includes hips, knees and vital joints in the back. Weight loss surgery opens new opportunities for joints to improve, or improve eligibility for joint replacement surgery if necessary. Reduction In this pressure on the joints will result in reduced pain and allow more freedom of movement and exercise.

Long term

Experts believe that obesity ranks as the second leading cause of cancer death. The American Cancer society carried out a 16 year study of 900,000 people which showed a link between excess body weight and multiple cancers.

Excess weight plays a role in multiple common and deadly diseases which can significantly reduce your lifespan. Carrying extra pounds can make mobility a challenge, even rising from a chair can prove difficult compared to those at a healthy weight.

Losing excess weight can make you feel better both physically and mentally, promoting a healthier and happier lifestyle.

Top 5 ways to fight obesity

 In order to beat obesity, you need to be dedicated to making fundamental changes to your diet and lifestyle. Here we talk about five ways you can fight obesity.

  1. Focus on the nutritional content of your food
  2. Avoid unhealthy and sugar laden drinks
  3. Get active
  4. Learn about and understand your eating habits
  5. Obesity treatment

At Ramsay Health Care, we offer effective weight loss treatments and advice based on your individual situation. The Four most widely used types of weight loss treatments are:

Your bariatric surgeon will also discuss these options in more detail taking into consideration your individual circumstances and goals.


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