Excess body fat is linked to major physical discomfort and disease. If you are obese it takes more energy for you to breathe because your heart has to work harder to pump blood to the lungs and to the excess fat throughout the body. This can cause your heart to become enlarged and can result in high blood pressure and erratic heartbeats. Obese people also tend to have high cholesterol levels, making them more prone to arteriosclerosis. This becomes life threatening when blood vessels become so narrow or blocked that vital organs like the heart, brain or kidneys are deprived of blood. Additionally, the narrowing of the blood vessels forces the heart to pump harder, and blood pressure rises. High blood pressure can cause heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. Clinical studies have shown a link between excess body fat and the incidence of cancer. By itself, body fat is thought to be a storage place for carcinogens in both men and women. In women, excess body fat has been linked to a higher rate of breast and uterine cancer and in men, a higher rate of colon and prostate cancer. There is also a delicate balance between blood sugar and body fat. Excess blood sugar is stored in the liver and other vital organs where it is converted into fat. As fat cells become full, they tend to take in less blood sugar. Excess body fat is also linked to gall bladder disease, gastro-intestinal disease, sexual dysfunction, osteoarthritis and stroke.