Obesity has many negative consequences for women at each stage of her life throughout the life cycle, including health, psychosocial, economic and biologic implications. In addition, obesity in women has the potential to have an intergenerational impact. Obese mothers might transmit risk for chronic disease during their pregnancies.
In young women, obesity is associated with increased rates of the prevalence of menstrual cycle irregularity and ovulatory failure which caused infertility. Obese women not only have lower fertility rates, but also have a poorer prognosis with assisted reproduction. The chances of becoming pregnant and having a successful pregnancy reduced in obese women.
As women enter childbearing years, obesity impacts on reproductive health and imposes a number of serious risks during pregnancy, including transmitting risk for chronic disease during their pregnancies.
In early pregnancy, medical complications in obese women include increased twinning and a higher rate of miscarriage as ultrasound can be difficult. During pregnancy, higher rates of pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and venous thromboembolism. The medical risks also influence the nutrition for the foetus which effecting the development of obesity of the baby later on in adult life.
During delivery, obese women are likely to have higher rates for induction of labour, dystocia, infection, bleeding and thrombosis compared. The metabolic status effect the baby. Anaesthesia poses a further challenge in obese mothers.
In older women, obesity is associated with the emergence of a number of related chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and increased risk for almost all types of cancer. In the elderly, obesity is a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Obesity also has a marked impact on life expectancy.
At a socio-economic level, obese women with higher education or in upper white-collar positions have significantly lower incomes compared with normal weight women. Obese women suffer the stigmatisation and more likely to have had fewer years of education, to be living in poverty, to have lower household incomes and they were less likely to be married. Excess body weight is not associated with similar disadvantages for men.