As your BMI increases, so does your risk of death for various diseases. Source: DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1000367

BMI - Risk of Death by Cause


Obesity is believed to cause up to 90,000 cancer deaths per year. As body mass index (BMI) increases, so does the risk of cancer and death from cancer. The common cancers caused:


  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma 
  • Leukemia
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Postmenopausal breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer


Obesity is a major cause of type 2 diabetes. People affected by obesity or severe obesity are 10 times more likely to have type 2 diabetes, which nearly doubles the risk of death. Type 2 diabetes can further lead to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Circulatory defects
  • Nerve defects
  • Infections become hard to heal
  • Impotence
  • Amputations
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Kidney disease


Obesity is consideres a major risk factor for heart disease. Large studies show that the risk for heart disease increases with obesity, and people with severe obesity are at a higher risk for coronary artery disease. This means they have a higher risk of a heart attack.

Obesity increases your risk of heart failure. Severe obesity is associated with irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). These arrhythmias can triple the risk of cardiac arrest. However, some excess weight can protect against dying from heart failure after the diagnosis is made.