Blog The influence of obesity on the quality of human life

The influence of obesity on the quality of human life
Saturday, 9. September 2023

21_6_blog_-_clanek__1000 × 1000 px.png

Obesity is one of the risk factors for the development of civilization diseases. In the following article, we will look at its classification and the effect it has on an individual's health and thus on the quality of human life.

Definition of obesity

Obesity is defined using BMI (Body Mass Index), where weight is divided by height in meters squared. You can use our online calculator to calculate your BMI. If the BMI is 30-34.9, this is obesity of the first degree. If the BMI exceeds 34.9, we are talking about morbid obesity.

Obesity as a risk factor

An increased amount of adipose tissue interferes with the functioning of several metabolic processes, affects the functionality of organ systems and, last but not least, has a fundamental effect on the human psyche.

Its epidemic growth has fueled debates on the classification of obesity as a separate disease, which we refer to as a civilizational disease. Civilization diseases are diseases arising from the modern way of life. They are typical of developed countries and obesity is the main one. In addition, obesity is a risk factor for the development of other civilization diseases, which are described below. (Conway, 2004)

Obesity is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases, which include: hypertension (high blood pressure), myocardial infarction, stroke, ischemia of the lower extremities, thrombosis, and embolism. A predisposition to the development of these diseases is an increased level of blood lipids (mainly LDL cholesterol) in the blood and related atherosclerotic degenerative changes. There is also stress, smoking, and the obesity above. (Powell-Wiley, 2021)

Obesity has a significant effect on the sensitivity of cells to insulin. As a result of insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus II sets in. a type that, unlike diabetes mellitus type I, can be influenced by weight reduction and lifestyle modification.

Obesity also has a major impact on the function of the respiratory system. According to available studies, it has been shown to affect the development/exacerbation of asthma, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and hypoventilation syndrome, which is manifested by swelling of the lower extremities, exertional dyspnea, and chest pressure during exercise. (Murugan, 2008)

High weight also affects the condition of the joints. Permanent high load on existing joints increases the risk of arthrosis (as functional wear and tear of the joint) and arthritis (as autoimmune joint inflammation). (Moroni, 2020)

Obesity is a major risk factor affecting the immune system's functionality. A high proportion of visceral fat increases the activity of inflammatory markers and increases morbidity.

Last but not least, it increases the risk of cancer. There is compelling evidence that excess body weight is associated with an increased risk of cancer in at least 13 anatomical sites, including colon, ovarian, endometrial, postmenopausal breast cancer, etc. (Avgerinos, 2019)

Obese people are also more prone to depressive-anxiety disorders according to available studies that focus on research on mental health after weight reduction, there is no doubt that a healthy and appropriate weight has a fundamental role in the quality of human life. (Payne, 2018)


Considering the excess mortality, significant morbidity, and economic toll that obesity brings us, it is a disease that requires serious attention from the medical community. The greatest emphasis should be on preventive medicine and educating the general public about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Conway, B., & Rene, A. (2004). Obesity as a disease: no lightweight matter. Obesity reviews - an Official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 5(3), 145–151. je stěžejní při určování její léčby, úhrady za léčbu a rozvoje rozsáhlých intervencí.

Murugan, A. T., & Sharma, G. (2008). Obesity and respiratory diseases. Chronic respiratory disease, 5(4), 233–242.

Moroni, L., Farina, N., & Dagna, L. (2020). Obesity and its role in the management of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Clinical rheumatology, 39(4), 1039–1047.

Avgerinos, K. I., Spyrou, N., Mantzoros, C. S., & Dalamaga, M. (2019). Obesity and cancer risk: Emerging biological mechanisms and perspectives. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 92, 121–135.

Payne, M. E., Porter Starr, K. N., Orenduff, M., Mulder, H. S., McDonald, S. R., Spira, A. P., Pieper, C. F., & Bales, C. W. (2018). Quality of Life and Mental Health in Older Adults with Obesity and Frailty: Associations with a Weight Loss Intervention. The journal of nutrition, health & aging, 22(10), 1259–1265.

Powell-Wiley, T. M., Poirier, P., Burke, L. E., Després, J. P., Gordon-Larsen, P., Lavie, C. J., Lear, S. A., Ndumele, C. E., Neeland, I. J., Sanders, P., St-Onge, M. P., & American Heart Association Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on C