If you’re overweight, but feeling okay now, you may be indifferent to dieting to prevent health problems. But your extra weight strains all your body systems, putting you at risk for developing one or more of the following health problems.
What is Obesity?
Obesity refers to an excessive amount of body fat. There is, however, a distinction between being obese and being overweight. Someone who is overweight may benefit from losing a few extra pounds, while an obese person has large amounts of extra body fat that puts them at risk for serious health problems.
Obesity health problems are on the increase every where. While obesity is not considered a diagnosable eating disorder, it has been acknowledged as one of the most dangerous health problems confronting public health professionals today.
However, what makes this trend anything but normal are the potentially devastating health, social and emotional implications associated with obesity.
Although body fat is essential for storing energy, insulating the body and protecting important body organs, excessive amounts can lead to serious obesity health problems and increased mortality rates.
Health Problems Associated with Obesity
#. Heart Disease
Fat has a huge impact on your heart and increases your risk of a heart attack. Beingoverweight also affects the cholesterol and sodium levels in the body, which is the leading cause of heart attacks in the developed world. There is also an increase in blood pressure in those who are overweight, which means that your heart is working too hard. There are more heart disease related deaths due to this, such as angina or sudden heart attacks; those that cause death with no early symptoms. Just losing up to ten percent of your body weight will help to lower the risks of heart disease and heart attacks.
Stroke is still one of the top five causes of death, and is due to a problem with the flow of blood to the brain. There are many reasons linked to the causes of a stroke and being overweight is one of them, specifically due to a person’s overall body mass. This is because the arteries get narrowed and blood clots stop the blood from being able to flow to the brain. Stroke is also linked to high cholesterol and a lack of exercise, which is seen in many overweight people. While those who are not overweight are still at a risk of stroke, it makes those who are overweight at more of a risk. By having an extra 20 percent in body fat you are 50 percent more likely to suffer a stroke.
Being overweight can lead to one of the most common conditions seen around the modern world, Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is based upon the deposits of fat in your body. As the body has more fat cells, it prevents other cells from taking the glucose which leads to a higher amount of glucose in the bloodstream instead. All it takes is to reduce your body weight between five and seven percent, along with 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, and your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes drops by 58 percent.
#. High blood pressure
Additional fat tissue in the body needs oxygen and nutrients in order to live, which requires the blood vessels to circulate more blood to the fat tissue. This increases the workload of the heart because it must pump more blood through additional blood vessels. More circulating blood also means more pressure on the artery walls. Higher pressure on the artery walls increases the blood pressure. In addition, extra weight can raise the heart rate and reduce the body’s ability to transport blood through the vessels.
#. Metabolic syndrome
The National Cholesterol Education Program has identified metabolic syndrome as a complex risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome consists of six major components: abdominal obesity, elevated blood cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance with or without glucose intolerance, elevation of certain blood components that indicate inflammation, and elevation of certain clotting factors in the blood.
#. Psycho-social effects
In a culture where often the ideal of physical attractiveness is to be overly thin, people who are overweight or obese frequently suffer disadvantages. Overweight and obese persons are often blamed for their condition and may be considered to be lazy or weak-willed. It is not uncommon for overweight or obese conditions to result in persons having lower incomes or having fewer or no romantic relationships. Disapproval of overweight persons expressed by some individuals may progress to bias, discrimination, and even torment.
Several types of cancer are associated with obesity. In women, these include cancer of the uterus, gallbladder, cervix, ovary, breast, and colon. Overweight men are at greater risk of developing cancer of the colon, rectum, and prostate.
For some types of cancer, such as colon or breast, it is not clear whether the increased risk is due to the extra weight or to a high-fat and high-calorie diet, this, of course, being strongly associated with weight problems as a consequence.
#. Joint problems, including osteoarthritis
Obesity can affect the knees and hips because of the stress placed on the joints by extra weight. Joint replacement surgery, while commonly performed on damaged joints, may not be an advisable option for an obese person because the artificial joint has a higher risk of loosening and causing further damage.
#. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that is closely associated with being overweight. The apnea can cause a person to stop breathing for short periods during sleep and to snore heavily. As a further consequence, there may be daytime sleepiness and in extreme cases the onset of symptoms of heart failure. The risk for sleep apnea increases with higher body weights. Yet again, Weight Loss ultimately reverses this risk.
Gout is a joint disease caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid sometimes forms into solid stone or crystal masses that become deposited in the joints. Gout is more common in overweight people and the risk of developing the disorder increases in parallel with higher Body Weights.
#. Gallbladder Disease
Gallbladder disease and gallstones are more common if you are overweight, and your risk of the disease increases as your weight increases. It is not clear how being overweight may cause gallbladder disease but the association may be a consequence of changes in fat and cholesterol handling by the body leading to supersaturation of bile.
#. High Cholesterol
People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have high cholesterol, a condition in which the levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol) and triglycerides are too high and the level of high-density lipoproteins (HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol) is too low. Abnormal levels of these blood fats are a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Researchers concluded that public health measures should be directed at the prevention of obesity in young adults since it increases the risk of excess cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Apart from obesity, smoking, excessive drinking, increased age, genetics, diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney or liver disease also play a major role in high cholesterol.
#. Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver disease (both alcoholic as well as nonalcoholic) is common in obese people. In this condition, fat builds up in the liver and causes inflammation or scarring.It can ultimately lead to severe liver damage, cirrhosis (scar tissue) or even liver failures.
The study stresses adopting a healthier lifestyle to reduce the risk of obesity-associated liver disease.
A Research reports show that, it is the saturated fat, not unsaturated fat, that raises sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) levels in obese people, and S1P unleashes the inflammation that characterizes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
People suffering from fatty liver disease are advised to lose weight, eat a healthy diet, increase physical activity and avoid drinking alcohol.
Always opt for a gradual and sustained weight loss target, as rapid weight loss can be damaging to the liver.
Excess weight makes conceiving harder, partly because overweight women ovulate less often than those at a healthy weight.
‘Infertility clinics recently found that a weight loss of just ten per cent in those with weight problems boosted fertility 14-fold.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for getting this painful disease, causing the bone and cartilage in your joints to degenerate. One study reported that a weight gain of 9 to 13 pounds increased the pain in the knees of arthritis sufferers. On the flip side, losing the same amount decreases the odds of getting arthritis by 50 percent.
Read more : What Is Osteoporosis? Symptoms And How To Treat
Asthma is chronic inflammation of the lung’s airways. Obesity is the most common comorbidity (when two diseases occur in the same person at the same time) with asthma, but researchers aren’t sure exactly how the two conditions are linked. According to a recent study published, about 38% of adults with asthma in the United States are also obese. That same study found that obesity may be a risk factor for more severe asthma in some, but not all, people with obesity.
#. Bone Health
Overweight and obesity can also hinder bone health. Young adult women with high body fat exhibited 8 to 9 percent weaker bone density than those with normal amounts of body fat. Obese people’s bodies do not make sufficient amounts of bone mass for the amount of muscle and weight they carry. Thus, poor bone density, osteoporosis and bone fractures may occur.
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