What is obesity? Obesity means you have a body mass index of 30 or higher. This condition makes you more prone to various health problems. That said, not everyone who’s obese will get sick. The risk rises if one has a family history of those conditions. Also, where excess weight is may matter. If it is mostly around the stomach (apple shape), it may be riskier than if one has extra weight around the hips and buttocks (pear shape). In this post, we will enumerate the health risks linked to obesity.
Heart disease and stroke
One of the major health risks linked to obesity is heart disease. In obese people, the heart must work harder to pump blood throughout the body. This leads to high blood pressure. Obesity can also make you more prone to high cholesterol. Both these conditions increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. The good news is, losing weight can reduce this risk.
Type 2 diabetes
Many people with type 2 diabetes are either overweight or obese. To reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, lose weight, eat a balanced diet, get adequate sleep, and exercise more. If you already have type 2 diabetes, becoming more physically active can help in controlling your blood sugar levels.
Cancers of the colon, breast, endometrium, kidney, and esophagus are linked to obesity. Also, some studies have reported links between obesity and cancers of the ovaries, gallbladder, and pancreas.
Gallstones and gallbladder disease are more common in overweight people. Ironically, weight loss, particularly rapid weight loss, can make an individual more likely to get gallstones. That said, losing weight at a rate of around 1 pound per week is less likely to result in gallstones.
Osteoarthritis is a joint condition that usually affects the knee, hip, or back. Carrying extra pounds puts extra pressure on these joints and wears away the cartilage that normally protects them. Losing weight can ease the stress on the knees, hips, and back and hence may improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Gout is a disease which affects the joints. It occurs when a person has too much uric acid in the blood. The extra uric acid forms crystals and deposited in the joints. Gout is more common in individuals who are overweight. The more a person weighs, the more likely it is to get gout. Over the short term, rapid weight changes might lead to a flare up of gout. If you have a history of gout, consult with your doctor on the best way to lose weight.
Sleep apnea is a condition that is linked to being overweight. It can cause a person to snore heavily and briefly stop breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea might cause daytime sleepiness and make heart disease or stroke more likely. Weight loss can improve sleep apnea.
Obesity can affect almost every part of the body. If you are obese, you can manage these risk factors through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Losing just 5 to 10 % of your present weight can reduce these health risks linked to obesity. If you have questions, consult your doctor on how you can lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle.