Obesity and disease management: effects of weight loss on comorbid conditions

Obes Res. 2001 Nov;9 Suppl 4:326S-334S. doi: 10.1038/oby.2001.138.


Objective: This review is designed to quantitate the effects of obesity and weight gain on risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and to review the effects of weight loss on CHD risk factors.

Research methods and procedures: After a comprehensive review of the literature related to body weight and weight gain on CHD risk, the relative risks (RRs) were tabulated. Values were averaged and meta-analysis techniques were used to estimate the variance-adjusted RR.

Results: Young persons with higher body mass index values have a significantly higher risk for CHD than do slender young people. For every 1% above a desirable body mass index, the risk for CHD increases by 3.3% for women and by 3.6% for men. Every kilogram of weight gain after high school increases risk for CHD by 5.7% for women and 3.1% for men. Weight loss significantly decreases major CHD risk factors. For every kilogram of weight loss the following favorable changes occur: fasting serum cholesterol, -1.0%; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, -0.7%; triglycerides, -1.9%; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, +0.2%; systolic blood pressure, -0.5%; diastolic blood pressure, -0.4%; and blood glucose, -0.2 mM.

Discussion: Obesity and/or weight gain are associated with major risk for CHD. Weight loss significantly improves serum lipid parameters, blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose values. Effective treatment approaches are available for most overweight or obese individuals but a major challenge is to enable these individuals to engage in these programs. Professional and consumer education is essential for advancing effective intervention strategies for overweight individuals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss*


  • Lipids