As statistics show, obesity in America and across the globe has been rising over the past decades. Obesity is a disease defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Excessive weight lowers the quality of life, increases healthcare costs, and is a preventable life-years lost.
Overweight and obese people have underlying medical conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes type 2, cardiovascular problems. These individuals are also at higher risk of severe illness from Coronavirus (COVID-19).
There is a multitude of causes that can lead to obesity which include genetics, work environment, and dietary habits. For some, it is highly difficult to battle obesity due to a lack of time, resources, and guidance. And for these people, it is important to understand the risks associated with being obese.
Let’s go over some of the health risks tied to obesity to better paint a picture of what the world is facing on a growing scale. Here are the top 6 most important health risks associated with obesity.
1. Sleep Apnea
When overweight, you run the risk of developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a breathing condition that can cause you to briefly stop breathing while asleep. It can cause daytime sleepiness as well as an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Significant OSA is present in 40% of obese people, and 70% of patients with sleep apnea are obese. Weight loss has often improved sleep apnea, providing individuals with better sleep and more daytime alertness.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition where your body gets used to insulin, known as insulin resistance. Being overweight or obese can cause type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) if the issue is not addressed.
Losing weight, maintaining a balanced diet, getting good sleep, and exercising regularly can greatly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Obesity and type II diabetes lowers the quality of life and longevity.
3. Heart Disease & Stroke
As one of the biggest factors of obesity-related deaths in the world, cardiovascular disease (CVD) can lead to serious risks, including heart attack, heart failure, cardiac arrest, and chest pain. It is the most common cause of death in the United States alone.
Losing weight and getting closer to a healthy range can greatly reduce the risk factor for heart problems. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke are proven to be reduced with weight loss.
4. Certain Cancers
Stopping weight gain is one of the most preventable measures that may prevent cancer risks tied to obesity. Ultimately, it’s important to be active and eat healthy to do your body a favor altogether.
Those who are obese face the risk of cancers, including;
- Colon cancers
- Breast cancer (after menopause)
- kidney cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Ovary cancer
These forms of cancer can all be avoided through proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits.
When overweight, it is possible that individuals may also suffer from gout, a disease that affects the joints due to too much uric acid in their blood. The risk of gout increases with weight, and it can occur in flare-ups with sudden fluctuations in weight.
Gout is a form of arthritis and joint pain that is extremely painful. It usually isolates one joint region at a time, oftentimes the big toe. Acute gout causes rapid pain in the area, affecting the ankle, knee, and other lower joint areas.
Having healthy eating and dieting can drastically improve gout.
When carrying excess weight, it is possible that pain in the knee, hip, or back can occur due to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the cartilage, which cushions the joints, being worn down. Some long-term complications include:
- Bowed-legged stance due to loss of cartilage
- Bony spurs along the spine (leading to pain, numbness, and tingling in parts of the body)
Losing just 5% of your body mass can improve stress and inflammation in the knees, hips, and lower back pain. As weight loss reduces pressure on joints, the stress and pain of osteoarthritis can resolve significantly.
How Weight Loss Surgery Revolves Obesity-Related Comorbidities
According to the US National Library of Medicine, “Obesity was found to be a major risk factor for the development of type-2 diabetes, asthma, hypertension, stroke, coronary artery disease, cancer and cancer-related mortality, liver, and gallbladder diseases, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and gynecological complications.”
Bariatric surgery is proven to reverse many obesity-related comorbidities through quick and long-term weight loss. This life-changing procedure helps patients reset, restart and refocus. Click here to find out if you qualify for bariatric surgery!
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- Obesity is Linked to Severe COVID-19 Infection
Source: Health Risks Linked to Obesity
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