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Developed by the British Dietetic Association.


need to lose weight? health risks

How can being overweight affect you?

Being overweight or obese can affect nearly every part of your body. It can increase your chances of having a heart attack, developing diabetes, having high blood pressure and increase the risk of certain types of cancer..

Being overweight can also cause:

  • Breathlessness
  • Problems with the gall bladder
  • Some cancers
  • Aching joints & osteoarthritis
  • Back pain
  • Sleep difficulties & snoring
  • Infertility
  • Sweating
  • Difficulties in walking
  • Low self-esteem and poor body-image

But if you are overweight, it's not all bad news. There is something you can do to improve your health.

Losing (and keeping off) just 5-10% of your body weight can provide many health benefits.

Health benefits of losing weight

Studies have shown that, when overweight, losing (and keeping off) 5-10% of your body weight can significantly reduce your risk of: heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. For example, it can:

  • Lower high blood pressure
  • Improve control of blood sugar levels in people with diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of angina
  • Improve blood cholesterol levels
  • Ease lower back and joint pain

What's more, 5-10% weight loss is an achievable amount that many people can keep off for good.