09 2021 Health Risks of Obesity

Despite wide promotion on achieving healthy lifestyle, trends for overweight and obesity have been increasing over time. According to the 2019 Expanded National Nutrition Survey by the DOST-FNRI, 28.7% of Filipino adults aged 20 to 59 years old are overweight while 9.3% are obese.

The term obesity refers to excessive fat accumulation often leading to a health risk.

To identify your body mass index (BMI) classification, please refer to the table below:


Body Mass Index


less than 18.50


18.50 to 24.99


24.50 to 29.99


30.00 and above

               *BMI = weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared


Compared to people with a normal BMI, individuals with BMI 25.50 and above have increased risk of experiencing the following major conditions:

  • Dyslipidemia: Excessive intake of foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol and being physically inactive may raise low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels which then leads to cardiovascular diseases.
  • Hypertension: When an individual is overweight or obese, the heart requires more effort to pump blood throughout the body. This causes the arteries to resist the heavy blood flow thus increasing your blood pressure.
  • COVID-19: Obese individuals have greater risk of experiencing severe COVID-19. Additionally, they have triple risk of getting hospitalized due to impaired immunity and decreased lung capacity resulting to difficulty in breathing.
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: If you are classified as obese particularly if with excessive abdominal fat, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus is 80 higher than those with normal BMI. This is because the abdominal fat triggers the fat cells to release pro-inflammatory chemicals making the body less sensitive to insulin.
  • Stroke: Obesity can generate inflammation from the excess fatty tissues which produce poor blood flow and blockage causing stroke.
  • Cardiovascular diseases: This is the combination of elevated LDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure, insulin and other medical conditions.
  • Sleep Apnea: Being obese have greater chance of suffering from sleep disordered breathing. Furthermore, having sleep apnea may increase chance of experiencing hypertension, stroke, and arrhythmia (irregular heart beat).
  • Cancer: Having high BMI may increase chance of being diagnosed with any of the following – endometrial cancer, Esophageal adenocarcinoma, Gastric cardia cancer, Liver cancer, Kidney cancer, Multiple myeloma, Meningioma, Pancreatic cancer, Breast cancer, Ovarian cancer, Thyroid cancer, and Gallbladder cancer.
  • Mental Disorders: It has been found that mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder are more likely to be experienced by overweight or obese individuals. This is due to increased stigma, judgments, history of childhood abuse, sensitivity to criticism, stress, overthinking, and poor self-esteem.

Do you want to experience the medical conditions abovementioned? This is the sign to get your normal body weight back!

Reduce your sedentary activities, do indoor workouts, attend virtual Zumba or fitness trainings, set Pinggang Pinoy as your daily meal guide, walk instead of riding transportation, check nutrition label of your grocery items, and lastly, replace empty caloric food items with fresh, and wholesome goods. It is never too late to live a healthy life. Start now before you regret anything!

Written by: NO I Nichole Loyola