Obesity leads to high blood pressure and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, which lead to cardiovascular disease. It also increases the likelihood of developing diabetes, another risk factor cardiovascular disease.
Being obese - with deposits of lipids in the abdomen - increases blood pressure beyond normal levels and increases levels of blood lipids.
Body fat also affects the body's ability to use insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is where the body's cells lose their sensitivity to insulin – they no longer respond, or respond less effectively, to the insulin that's produced.
Obesity accounts for 80 to 85 per cent of the risk of type 2 diabetes. Rising obesity is linked with 'western diet' - a diet that includes energy-rich 'fast foods' and an inactive lifestyle.
The bar charts show the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes associated with people's Body Mass Index (BMI).
There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but it may be possible to control it by diet and exercise.
The risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes can be reduced by eating a balanced diet, with unrefined, unprocessed, 'whole foods', and taking regular exercise.
Both BMI and the ratio between a person's waist and hip measurements give a generalised view of a person's health. It can be unhelpful to draw too many conclusions from these values, but they are a useful starting point.
Obesity is often defined as a value of BMI above 30.
The World Health Organisation define obesity in waist:hip measurement as a value higher than 0.85 in women and 1.0 in men.