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  • Writer's pictureDr Amjad Saeed

How obesity affects the quality of life?

One of the most notorious aspects of obesity, lies in the fact that the condition acts as a gateway to many other medical conditions. These are medically referred to as ‘comorbidities'.

The many problems of living with obesity, combined with the existence of numerous comorbidities poses a real challenge to any obese individual. The magnitude of this challenge is often measured in terms of how it affects the quality of life of an individual.

How does obesity affect the quality of life?

Listed below are some of the ways that your quality of life might be affected if you’re an obese individual:

  • Increased risk of heart failure

Heart failure is a common occurrence in obese individuals. A 10kg increase in body weight is associated with a 12% higher risk of having a heart attack [1]. This implies that for someone who is obese, a heart attack is always on the horizon and it is living in this fear, and the mental stress that accompanies it, that has the biggest impact on an obese person’s quality of life.

  • Decreased fertility

According to research, if you’re obese, there is a significant risk of you becoming infertile [2]. In addition, research has also shown that obese women suffer from a higher chance of pregnancy loss. Due to the social stigma attached to it, as well as an individual’s own desire to form a family, this can understandably leave a lasting impact on obese patients.

  • Social stigma

Apart from comorbidities, obesity itself acts as a mental stressor for patients in the form of social stigma. There is no social gathering you can attend, no picture you can post on social media, without your friends and colleagues bringing up your weight, if you’re an obese person.

  • Cholesterol and diabetes

Being obese also places a person at a significant risk of developing diabetes. This comes with its own set of complications, such as major lifestyle modifications, and it also means that every time such a person suffers from a minor ailment, the body will take much longer to heal when compared with an average person. Similarly, the high cholesterol levels seen in obesity can predispose these individuals to a host of other conditions, such as coronary artery disease, and stroke to name a few.

  • Other effects

Obese individuals often have to face other challenges that can at times be disabling. Bone fractures take longer to heal, there might be a need for lifelong medical therapy, and high fat levels might affect normal functioning of the brain. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to naming a few factors that can negatively impact an obese individual’s quality of life.

How bariatric surgery improves the quality of life in obese patients?

Bariatric surgery can produce incredible results for anyone who suffers from obesity, and this success has been reported in a number of researches worldwide. One research found that patients may lose 30% to 50% of their extra weight in the first six months following surgery, and 77% of their excess weight as soon as 12 months. Another study found that 10 to 14 years following surgery, individuals may sustain a 50 to 60% weight reduction [3]. This suggests that the results of bariatric surgery can be long term. This long-term reduction of weight can help reduce the negative affects that obesity brings, leading to:

-Improved fertility

-Decreased risk of heart failure

-Improved cognitive/brain functioning

-Improved healing of fractures

Finally, this can undoubtedly improve the social image of a person, which directly correlates with higher confidence levels, and a better mental health overall.


  1. Akil L, Ahmad HA. Relationships between obesity and cardiovascular diseases in four southern states and Colorado. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved. 2011;22(4 Suppl):61.

  2. Kinlen D, Cody D, O’Shea D. Complications of obesity. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine. 2018 Jul 1;111(7):437-43.

  3. Smith J. How effective is Bariatric Surgery?. University of IOWA Hospitals and Clinics. June 2018.,to%2014%20years%20after%20surgery.

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1 comentario

Muhammad Mubariz
Muhammad Mubariz
01 oct 2021

I did not know that obesity can affect fertility, thank you!

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