Citation: Cheng HL, Medlow S, Steinbeck K. The health consequences of obesity in young adulthood. Current Obesity Reports 2016;5:30-7



Young adults are gaining weight faster than any age group. This weight gain and the appearance of obesity-related comorbidities often commence in adolescence. Psychosocial distress and mental health issues are common and debilitating, and treatment approaches are likely to be similar to those for adolescents. At the same time, young adults may have physical morbidities which will continue and worsen throughout adulthood, such as hypertension, diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Health consequences of obesity are challenging to manage in young adults as their symptoms may be minimal, they are less likely to engage with healthcare due to other life priorities and their neurocognitive developmental stage makes therapy adherence difficult. Clinicians who manage young adults with obesity need to be aware of these age-specific challenges, as well as the sexual and reproductive health concerns that are present in this age group.

About The Authors


Helen is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Exercise Scientist by training, and currently holds ...

  Associate Professor  

Dr Sharon Medlow is a Senior Research Fellow in the Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health at the...


Kate Steinbeck is an endocrinologist and adolescent physician, and Professor and Medical Foundation ...