If science does not lie, obesity is unhealthy and expensive and a growing world problem. A study conducted in the United States provides astonishing data that over 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. Obesity-related health problems in the United States cause medical costs estimated at nearly $ 150 billion a year. With more than 15% of American children currently obese, you will not solve the problem soon. Let’s start by talking about what it means to be obese.
Everyone has a healthy weight range, but you can have significant physical consequences when your weight is out of this range. Based on how much your weight exceeds the range, it is determined whether you are “overweight” or “obese.” Healthcare professionals say that a weight that is 20% above the range means obese, while an amount of 20% or less above this range represents extra pounds. The limit is number 25 on Body Mass Index (ITM) – in English BMI (Body Mass Index). BMI calculates body weight from the ratio of weight and height, and less than 20 is considered low and indicates malnutrition. A BMI of 20-25 is considered good and indicates a healthy weight greater than 25 is considered high, indicates overweight, and may increase the risk of health problems.
While obesity is associated with greater health complications, being overweight also carries an equal number of dangers.
Once we have determined what it means to be obese, we should also get acquainted with the dangers that obese people face.
Obesity causes heart disease
The more you gain weight, the higher the risk that you will not experience old age. A heart attack is the number one cause of death for American men.
The link between being overweight and an increased risk of heart attack lies in how the body responds to increased fat intake. Naturally, the body maintains a constant level of water, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with vitamins and minerals. A higher concentration of fat increases sodium levels and increases cholesterol and triglycerides in your bloodstream. This is especially inconvenient because “good” HDL cholesterol (known as a risk-reducing agent for heart disease) is replaced by “bad” cholesterol. The result can be coronary heart disease, leading to a heart attack.
Being overweight also increases blood pressure ( hypertension ), causing the heart to work too hard, which increases the risk of getting heart disease. The most terrible consequence of obesity is an increased risk of getting severe chest pain and “sudden death” from a heart attack (which comes without previous symptoms).
Although the link between being overweight and the risk of a heart attack seems daunting, the positive thing is that a weight loss of just 5% -10% can greatly reduce the danger and lead you on the path to health.
Obesity causes cancer
New England Medical Journal ( The New England Journal of Medicine ), based on the study, concluded that almost all forms of cancer are more common in overweight people. Being overweight is associated with new cases of cancer and is also related to the survival rate of these patients. The rate is lower for obese people. To support this argument, the New England Medical Journal also pointed out that 15% of cancer deaths are related to obesity.
These statistics are alarming, but how exactly does the link between overweight and cancer work? Studies are still being done, but we know this: with weight gain, adipose tissue can upset the natural hormonal balance, so the body becomes a “better” host for tumors. Cancer is also related to where fat has accumulated on the body. For example, a large amount of abdominal fat carries a higher risk of colon cancer, and gastric reflux (return of contents from the stomach to the esophagus) associated with obesity increases esophageal cancer chances. It sounds discouraging, but the good thing is that increased physical activity and proper nutrition reduce the risk of cancer so that everyone can make a change for the better.
Obesity is caused by a stone in the gallbladder
It is believed that there is a link between obesity and stones in the gallbladder (gallstones). Gallstones are actually solid particles in the gallbladder that lead to abdominal pain and nausea. Although this is not as dangerous as heart disease and cancer, it can still require surgery, and removing the entire gallbladder is the most effective procedure.
The information for connecting gallstones with obesity is based on the gallstones’ composition. The particles consist of bile pigments and cholesterol. The cholesterol component is based on excess cholesterol that the body does not need. Comparative studies show a higher incidence of gallstones in a diet with a high intake of animal fat and sugar and a low fiber and vegetable fat intake. An automatic reaction to the fear of getting gallstones can be going on a fast diet. But losing weight fast can increase your chances of gaining it. A better option is gradual weight loss, more exercise, and increased vitamin C intake.
Obesity causes diabetes
As the number of obese people grows, so does the number of people with diabetes. Currently, more than 75 million Americans already have diabetes or a diagnosis of pre-diabetes. While obesity can cause further complications for sufferers of type I diabetes and Type III, it can be a direct cause of Type II diabetes. Type II is characterized by insulin resistance, and your chances of developing the disease are based on risk factors such as extra pounds, how long you are obese, and where your body stores fat deposits.
Overweight and the onset of Type II diabetes share a link based on fat cells and insulin interaction. The cells in your body need insulin to bring them glucose, but fat cells are more resistant to insulin. In this way, they contribute to unnecessarily high glucose levels in the bloodstream and do not provide enough energy for the cells that need it. In essence, fat traps your energy, and eventually, the body becomes completely resistant to insulin. Fortunately, the American Diabetes Society states that with 150 minutes of exercise each week and 5-7% weight loss, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by up to 58%. This is encouraging news, but the link between being overweight and Type II diabetes should not be overlooked.
Obesity causes a stroke
Stroke (stroke) remains among the top five leading causes of death. When there is a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain, what follows is an immediate danger to these people. Although there are many other risk factors in the game, stroke is also directly related to obesity and overweight. The Archives of Internal Medicine has published research showing that 20% or less overweight people carry a 50% increased risk of getting a stroke. The study also explained that being over 20% overweight carries a twice as high risk.
Because of these statistics, it is important to know the relationship between being overweight and having a stroke. Being overweight is considered to affect the arteries by narrowing them. With narrowed arteries, blood clots formation, which could cause a stroke later, becomes easier. Narrowing of the arteries can be followed by high blood pressure, little physical activity, and a diet high in cholesterol. Unfortunately, some (but certainly not all) overweight people do not exercise regularly, eating foods high in cholesterol, which dramatically increases their risk of getting a stroke. On the other hand, healthy eating habits and regular physical activity can significantly reduce stroke risk.
Risks and corresponding changes
When you look at various diseases resulting from being overweight, it becomes clear that “bigger is not always better.” Risk factors that could affect you later in life (and before you even think about it) give credibility to the idea of improving your lifestyle. We discussed several possible solutions, such as changing your diet (less cholesterol and sodium, more fruits and vegetables) and increasing physical activity. If you need to change your habits or have a loved one who needs it, the best thing you can do is consult a doctor and evaluate your options. Regular medical checkups can help you gain insight into changes in your blood count and blood pressure while setting goals for a healthier life. It may sound like too much work, but it’s about your body and, after all, your life.