Obesity is a chronic disease and harmful effects of obesity damage many systems in our body. There could be different causes that contribute to obesity. Dietary patterns, physical inactivity, genetic factors, medication use are some of the contributing causes of obesity.
Harmful effects of obesity among Adults:
Excess weight affects almost all parts of our bodies. Excess weight especially around your middle (apple shape) is more harmful than excess weight around your hips (pear shaped). The greater your waist size, the greater are your health risks. But of course, that does not mean that having excess fat deposits elsewhere on your body should not worry you. Extra fat on your body is always bad. Obese people are more susceptible to many serious diseases and health problems like:
Obesity is the main cause of a number of bone and joint issues. When you gain weight in your abdomen your spine comes under tremendous pressure carrying your weight. So your pelvis slants forward and your lower back curves forward too. Once your back is no longer aligned, nerves exiting the spinal column get constricted or a disc bulges or herniates causing lower back pain.
Coronary heart disease due to fat deposits in the arteries that supply blood to the heart is quite common among overweight people. Atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries is ten times more prevalent among obese people than people with normal body weight. Insufficient supply of blood to heart due to narrowed arteries causes angina (chest pain) or a heart attack. However, consumption of fruits strengthen heart.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes occurs when blood glucose also known as blood sugar in your body is too high. With the passage of time this can lead to heart disease, nerve damage, eye and kidney problems. Earlier Type 2 diabetes prevailed among adults only but now we see children becoming patients of this disease too. Insulin regulates blood sugar and obesity causes resistance to insulin. As a result, blood sugar level of the body increases.
High Blood Pressure
The additional fat tissues in your body needs oxygen and nutrients to survive; which means that they require the blood vessels to supply more blood to the fat tissue. So the heart has to pump blood even harder to supply blood to all the additional blood vessels and cells of your body. More circulating blood means more pressure on the artery walls raising blood pressure. Moreover, kidneys get damaged due to excess fat. As a result, support from kidneys in regulating blood pressure is also adversely affected.
High blood pressure due to being overweight is the major cause of strokes. Stroke means stoppage of blood supply to a part of your brain and damage of brain cells. Sudden bleeding in the brain can also cause a stroke if the brain cells are damaged. Excess weight is also responsible for other complications like high blood sugar, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc.
Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in the joints mainly because wearing of cartilage that happens due to old age or an injury. Excess weight may put extra pressure on the joints and cartilage and trigger wearing away of the cartilages.
A pause between breathing during his sleep causes Sleep Apnea. Oxygen supply to the brain stops with every pause. This happens because of the added weight of the chest squeezing the lungs that leads to your breathing getting restricted. Fat deposits around neck of a overweight person makes the airway narrow leading to difficulty in breathing. Sometimes it may result in stoppage of breathing for a while. Sleep apnea is also associated with high blood pressure.
Harmful effects of obesity cause glucose intolerance and insulin resistance that harm the kidneys. It triggers inflammation and other metabolic syndrome leading to damaged kidneys. Filtering of blood and other waste products in our bodies gets affected due to damaged kidneys. Hence accumulation of such unwanted waste lead to various complications. Diabetes and high blood pressure also damage kidneys. Obesity is one of the main causes of diabetes and high blood pressure.
More harmful effects of obesity
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the cells of our bodies. It is like a wax. For digestion, our body needs hormones, Vitamin D . We also need cholesterol for these and other necessary substances. It is carried by small packages called lipoproteins because it does not mix in blood. Two types of lipoproteins carry the cholesterol throughout our bodies. These are LDL (low density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol and the HDL (high density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol. Our body must maintain these two within specified levels. One of the reasons of heart attack is plaque in the coronary arteries and plaque is nothing but built up cholesterol. Again, cholesterol level increases due to obesity.
Metabolic syndrome has been identified as a complex risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome consists of six major components: abdominal obesity, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin resistance with or without glucose intolerance, elevation of certain blood components that indicate inflammation and elevation of certain clotting factors in the blood.
Developing various forms of cancer is closely related to obesity. Post-menopausal breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cancer of endometrium, kidney, gallbladder are a few examples.So, harmful effects of obesity can cause serious health issues.
Problems during pregnancy
Insulin resistance, high blood pressure and high blood sugar are found in many overweight expecting mothers enhancing risk of surgery and anesthesia. Mothers must restrict weight gain during pregnancy so that they may not become obese after delivery. This will restrict possibility of child becoming obese.
Mental Disorders due to Obesity
Doctors often assess the mental health too while treating patients for obesity. Low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, physical inactivity, poor self-image, etc are fallout of obesity among many patients . Normally women are more distressed than men as they always try to conform to the societal norms of beauty which adheres to the thought ‘slim is beautiful’. Obviously young women gets more affected mentally than aged women.
Finally, we can conclude that harmful effects of obesity need to be taken very seriously. However, there are ways to lose weight by proper exercise. Even there are ways to lose weight without exercise.
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