Obesity – Beyond a Cosmetic Problem

A lot of people who are obese want to lose weight because they feel self conscious, their confidence is diminished, and they do not like how people perceive them because of the way they look. But obesity is much more than a problem concerning looks. It is, in fact, a serious health hazard. A person who is 40% overweight is doubly at risk of premature death compared to an average-weight person.

Obesity is associated with various serious health conditions, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Cancer
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis

Experts generally agree that the more obese someone is, the more likely that person is to have one or more health problems. Fortunately, losing even just 10 to 20 pounds can have significant positive results like lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Obesity and Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects your body’s ability to control blood sugar. It is also a known cause of blindness, heart disease, stroke, and death. People who are overweight are twice more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than those who have normal weight. Losing weight may allow you to lessen or even avoid medication that you need for diabetes as it also helps control blood sugar levels.

Obesity and Heart Disease

Overweight people are likely to have high blood pressure which is a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke. High blood levels of cholesterol, which is also linked to being overweight, can also lead to heart disease. Additionally, excess weight also contributes to angina (chest pain one experiences when there is a decrease in oxygen supply to the heart) and fatal strokes. Sometimes heart disease and stroke can happen without any signs or symptoms.

Reducing weight by at least 10% can help decrease the risk of developing heart disease.

Obesity and Cancer

There are several types of cancer associated with obesity. In women, being overweight puts you at a higher risk of getting cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix, breast and colon. Men who are obese, on the other hand, are at a higher risk of having prostate and colorectal cancer.

Obesity and Gallbladder Disease

Gallstones and gallbladder disease are more common among overweight people. The higher your weight is, the higher your risk is of having gallbladder issues.

Obesity and Gout

Gout is a disease that is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood, leading to painful joints. High amounts of uric acid can solidify into crystal-like masses that accumulate in the joints. Gout is also more common in overweight men and women.

Obesity and Osteoarthritis

Another common joint condition that overweight people are prone to having is osteoarthritis. The extra pounds that an obese person carries put more pressure on the knee and hip joints as well as the lower back as cartilage is worn that normally protects the joints.

Obesity is not just about not fitting in your old clothes and feeling self-conscious when you look in the mirror. Its effects go beyond what the eye can see. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight to look better, you should feel the urgency to achieve a healthier weight because of how it can greatly improve your health.

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