Common health risks associated with obesity


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Common health risks associated with obesity

  1. 1. ==== ====For more information please go to: ====Obesity is not only a dangerous health condition - it creates and complicates many additionalhealth problems for its sufferers. As a result, obese individuals (those with a body mass indexabove 30) have a 50-100% greater risk of premature death compared to individuals with a healthybody weight. Furthermore, as body weight goes up, so does the potential for health problems andthe risk of premature death. We will now review some of the most common health risks associatedwith obesity. However, we will also analyze the ways in which weight loss can not only reduce therisk of premature death and certain diseases, but also improve upon many secondary healthconditions associated with obesity.Heart DiseaseThe prevalence of many types of heart disease - including heart attack, congestiveheart failure, angina or chest pain and abnormal heart rhythm - is greatly increased for individualsthat are overweight or obese. In fact, obese individuals have a 70% increase chance of coronaryartery disease. High blood pressure is also twice as common in obese individuals. Additionally,triglyceride (blood fat) levels are typically elevated in those suffering obesity, while HDLcholesterol - known as the good cholesterol - is often present in lower amounts.StrokeObese individuals have a 75% increased risk in having a stroke, as obesity is often considered adangerous secondary risk factor for stroke. One of the most common causes of stroke is thecondition known as atherosclerosis, a narrowing of the arteries that can lead to arterial blood clots.As atherosclerosis is worsened by a combination of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack ofexercise and smoking; obese individuals are often at greater risk for stroke.DiabetesStudies have shown that a weight gain of just 11-18 pounds can double an individualsrisk of developing type 2 diabetes. And over 80% of diabetes sufferers can be classified asoverweight or obese, so there is a longstanding association between obesity and diabetes.Moreover, obese individuals have a 400% increased risk in developing diabetes.CancerObesity has been shown to place individuals at increased risk for several types of cancer,including cancers of the colon, gallbladder, prostate and kidneys. In overweight and obesewomen, the risk of endometrial cancer (a cancer developing in the lining of the uterus) andpostmenopausal breast cancer are also increased. In fact, women that gain more than 20 poundsbetween age 18 and midlife are at twice the risk for postmenopausal breast cancer than womenthat maintain their weight throughout their adult years.Gallbladder Disease and GallstonesThe prevalence of gallbladder disease and gallstones is about
  2. 2. three times greater in obese individuals. It is also believed that the risk of symptomatic gallstonesis directly related to an increase in weight and body mass index (BMI).Reproductive ComplicationsIn regards to the effects of obesity on pregnant mothers and newborn infants, expectant parentsshould be aware of several possible complications. Firstly, infants born to obese mothers are moreprone to high birth weight. As a result, overweight and obese mothers are forced to undergo ahigher rate of Cesarean section deliveries. Obesity has also been linked to a higher prevalence ofbirth defects, especially neural tube defects such as spina bifida, and complications during thelabor and delivery stages. Most startlingly, obesity has been shown to increase the risk of deathfor mothers and infants during pregnancies and increase the risk of high blood pressure inexpectant mothers by nearly 10 times.For women that are not pregnant but may become pregnant, obesity can cause women toexperience irregular menstrual cycles and even infertility. Women that are overweight or obeseshould also be aware that pregnancy can also place them at higher risk of gestational diabetes.OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders are more common in obese individuals thanpersons with healthy body weight. In fact, studies have shown that for each 2-pound increase inbody weight, overweight and obese individuals experience a 9-13% greater risk for arthritis andsimilar ailments.DepressionMany overweight and obese people suffer from depression and other psychological oremotional problems. The feelings of unattractiveness, isolation, frustration and failure, which aresometimes at the heart of such depression, can be emphasized when an individual experiencesrejection or any type of discrimination in a work, school or social setting. Overall, many overweightand obese individuals suffer from a reduced quality of life, caused not only by numerous healthconcerns but also the inability to complete some activities or achieve certain goals.Breathing ProblemsObese individuals are more likely to suffer from breathing problems such asasthma, severe bronchitis and respiratory insufficiency. Also, the condition known as sleep apnea- difficulty breathing and interrupted respiration while sleeping - is much more common inoverweight and obese populations.While obesity can certainly take it toll on many aspects of a persons health, there is also somegood news. For those that are overweight or obese, a weight loss of just 10% of total body weightcan begin to have positive health effects. For instance, after an obese individual begins losingweight, the risks of heart disease and stroke are reduced. Furthermore, obese individuals mayalso be able to lower their blood pressure and blood sugar, improve their cholesterol levels andcombat the effects of secondary conditions such as asthma or chronic back pain.While a weight loss of as little as 10-20 pounds can have positive health effects, an individualsoverall health will continue to improve as they approach a healthier body weight. For anyone tryingto improve their health and quality of life by losing weight, it is also important to remember that theweight loss must be maintained in the long term for such positive effects to be possible. Therefore,
  3. 3. overweight and obese individuals must be concerned about changing their lifestyles in addition tolosing weight, incorporating healthy eating and exercise into their daily routines.Carole S. Guinane, a Chief Clinical Officer writes articles about obesity and weight loss for NewHope Today.Article Source: ====For more information please go to: ====