Currently, a lot of people worldwide are suffering from obesity. But, this obesity is linked with many significant risks.
Now, the question that may be coming to your mind is what is obesity. Well, obesity refers to a condition in which a harmful amount of body fat is accumulated in an individual’s body. An unhealthy distribution of body fat also indicates obesity.
Scientifically, if an individual’s body mass index or BMI is 30 or more, they can be called obese. You would be able to easily calculate your BMI by making use of an online calculator.
Risk Factors Of Obesity
The health risks of being overweight or obese are many, like the excess body fat puts strain on the organs and bones. It also results in complex changes in metabolism, hormones and increases body inflammation.
So, there are several risk factors of obesity that will be discussed well in the upcoming section.
But, having a risk factor like obesity does not always mean that you will develop the below-mentioned health issues. But, it does significantly increase your chances of developing one or more of these diseases.
Now, let’s have a close look at the most common diseases caused by obesity and the best ways you would be able to manage or prevent them.
Among the side effects of being overweight or obese, sleep apnea is considered one of them. It refers to a disorder in which someone may momentarily stop breathing while they are sleeping.
People who are living with obesity tend to have a significantly higher chance of developing sleep apnea. It is because these people have more fat stored around the neck portion.
It results in shrinkage of the airway. So, a small airway can be responsible for snoring and cause difficulty breathing during the nighttime.
To lower the sleep apnea risk, one should adopt the best measures to reduce fat in their neck significantly.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is another consequence of obesity. This condition mainly occurs when your blood sugar becomes higher than usual.
Over time, this can result in other major health issues such as kidney disease, stroke, nerve damage, heart disease, and vision problems.
If you are obese, then just losing 5 to 7% of the body weight will help. Along with that, getting moderate and regular exercise may delay or prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
Heart disease is more prevalent in those individuals who are suffering from obesity. Over time, there may be an accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries. Arteries are those blood vessels that supply blood to the heart.
Specifically, obese individuals tend to have higher than regular blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and blood pressure. All of these factors contribute to heart disease.
Arteries that have become narrowed can result in a heart attack. Blood clots in narrow arteries cause a stroke.
High Blood Pressure
Excessive fat tissue in the human body requires more nutrients and oxygen. As a result, your blood vessels will need to circulate more blood to the extra fat tissue.
Due to this reason, your heart will have to work more to pump and distribute blood around your body.
Extra pressure is exerted on the walls of your arteries due to the increase in the amount of blood circulating in your body.
This added pressure is known to be hypertension or high blood pressure. Over time, this high blood pressure can damage your arteries and heart.
Obese people are more likely to develop fatty liver disease, also known as NASH or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. It occurs when excessive fat builds up in the liver tissues.
Also, this condition is known to be cirrhosis, in which this excess fat damages the liver or causes scar tissue to develop.
There are no symptoms of this fatty liver disease or cirrhosis, but it can result in liver failure if left untreated. Losing weight, exercising, and avoiding alcohol consumption are the only ways to manage or reverse this condition.
Both heart disease and stroke almost share the same risk factors. Strokes happen when there is a cut-off in the supply of blood to the brain.
A stroke can damage brain tissue, resulting in a diverse range of the disabilities such as impairment of language and speech, weakness of the muscles, and changes in reasoning and thinking abilities.
Obesity raised the risk of stroke by about 64%, according to a 2010 review of 25 research studies conducted with about 2.3 million participants.
The gallbladder plays a vital role in storing bile juice and transporting it to the small intestine during the digestion process. Bile aids in the digestion of lipids or fats. Gallstones are more likely to form if you are obese. The formation of gallstones occurs with the build-up and solidification of the bile juice in the gallbladder.
Obese people may have higher cholesterol levels in their bile or have significant, inefficient gallbladders, resulting in gallstones. Gallstones can be excruciatingly painful and necessitate surgery.
Gallstones can be avoided by eating a diet rich in healthy fats and fiber. It is also good to stay away from processed grains such as pasta, bread, and white rice.
As cancer is not a single disease, the link between cancer and obesity is still not evident, like other conditions such as stroke and heart disease.
Still, it is thought that obesity can increase your risk of certain cancers such as colon, breast, pancreas, gallbladder, kidney, and prostate cancer, along with cervix, uterine, ovarian, and endometrial cancer.
Complications In Pregnancy
Insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure are more likely to occur in pregnant women who are overweight or obese.
All of these conditions can effectively increase your chances of having complexities during your pregnancy and delivery, which involves:
Needing a C-section delivery
Following birth, you may experience more bleeding than usual.
Brain and spinal cord abnormalities
According to a study, almost 60% of pregnant women with a BMI of 40 or higher experienced any one of these problems.
If you are obese or overweight and planning to have a baby, you should start a weight-loss program right away to minimize the health problems listed above. Consult your doctor about the physical activities that are considered safe to do while pregnant.
Obesity causes depression in a large number of persons. Obesity and major depressive disorder are linked with each other, as per some research studies.
Obese people may often be subjected to discrimination because of their body size. It might lead to extreme sadness, loss of confidence, and sometimes even depression.
Currently, many advocacy groups, like the NAAFA ,are focusing on successfully eliminating these discriminations. They give people the chance to get involved in the battle against discrimination.
Consider asking your doctor for a referral to a mental health counselor if you have obesity and are experiencing signs of depression.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk?
Losing just 5% of your body weight can reduce your risk of developing many of these conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Diet and exercise together can help you to lose weight gradually over time. You would not need to make any significant changes in your lifestyle to achieve this.
Consistency is the key to successful access in this process. Also, it would help if you stuck to healthy choices.
In terms of exercise, your aim should be to indulge in about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. Sometimes, even 30 minutes of walking per day will help you achieve your desired goal.
Once you have mastered it, you should try increasing your weekly workout to 300 minutes. At least twice a week, it is essential to incorporate strengthening activities such as situps or pushups into your weight loss routine.
Here are a few suggestions to incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle.
- It would help if you focused on filling half of your plate with vegetables.
- Another healthy habit is to replace refined grains such as white bread, pasta, and rice with whole grains, including brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal.
- It is suggested to consume lean protein sources such as fish, lean chicken, fish, soy, and beans.
- You should cut out sugary snacks, fast foods, and fried foods from your diet.
- Other than that, it would help if you necessarily avoided sugary drinks, like juice and sodas.
- It would help if you avoided the consumption of alcoholic beverages to help in your weight loss process.
- Inquire with your doctor if you are a good candidate for medications or weight loss surgery. These therapies can help you lose weight faster, but you should still make the above-listed lifestyle modifications.
Obesity can harm both your mental as well as physical health. You may not know where to start, but constant efforts help to manage your weight more effectively,
By focusing on these approaches, you would be able to successfully avoid certain complications like high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes in the subsequent stages of your life.
All you need is to talk with your healthcare service provider about increasing your physical activity, eating a healthier diet, and other therapy options for addressing your issues.