Following the trends of other developing countries, the growth of obesity in India has become rampant. A normal weight sets the stage for other organs in our body such as our heart, muscles, and bones to function steadily and efficiently. Excess or unhealthy weight diminishes every aspect of our health. An overweight, especially obese individual is unable to cope with sudden physical activity and get tired or even breathless very easily. They also fall victim to life-threatening diseases including heart diseases and diabetes. In our superficial society, majority of the people believe that obesity is just an appearance problem. We need to realize the seriousness of this medical condition, as it can drastically affect a person’s health and can often even be fatal.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is considered a reliable indicator of healthy weight. It is a measure that uses our height and weight to determine whether or not our weight is healthy. When calculating our BMI we must divide our weight in kilograms by our height in meters squared:
- BMI less than 18.5, falls within the underweight category.
- BMI 18.5 to <25, falls within the normal weight category.
- BMI 25.0 to <30, falls within the overweight category.
- BMI 30.0 or higher, falls within the obese category.
Some of the Health Risks of Obesity are given below
High Blood Pressure:
Our blood pressure is oftentimes related to our weight. As we gain weight our blood pressure also rises. By losing weight we can reduce the risk of high blood pressure. In fact shedding, just a couple of pounds can have a drastic impact on our heart health and can help in preventing or even treating high blood pressure.
We can prevent and treat high blood pressure by:
- Losing weight if our BMI exceeds 25.
- Reducing our salt intake.
- Working out regularly.
- Cutting down on our alcohol consumption.
- Maintaining a healthy balanced diet comprising of fruits and vegetables.
Obesity is the primary cause of stroke among men and women all over the world regardless of their gender or race. The degree of obesity defined by body mass index (BMI) acts as a risk factor for ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs due to a lack of blood flow in the body rather than due to clotting. Due to excess fatty tissue in the body, there are high chances that inflammation can occur this causes poor blood flow and potential blockages which in turn causes ischemic stroke. People affected by obesity also stand a greater chance of experiencing sleep-disordered breathing, known as sleep apnea. Those who suffer from sleep apnea tend to have a higher risk of irregular heart rhythms, higher blood pressure, and stroke.
Quite often obese people have chronic low-level inflammation, this can lead to DNA damage over time, this, in turn, causes cancer. Adipose or fat tissue generates copious amounts of estrogen. This increases the risk of breast, ovarian, endometrial, and other types of cancers. Fat cells might have direct or indirect effects on cell growth regulators, such as AMP-activated protein kinase and mTOR.
Various health problems raise the chances of developing sleep apnea, but sleep apnea is most common among overweight or obese people. An unhealthy weight creates fat deposits in body parts such as a person’s neck. This is called pharyngeal fat. Pharyngeal fat can potentially block a person’s upper airway when they’re asleep and the airway is relaxed. This leads to collapse and reduced neuromuscular control from fatty deposits If overweight and obese people lose even a small percentage of their weight, their sleep apnea can be cured.
Individuals who are overweight or obese and have Osteoarthritis in one knee, are more prone than people with a healthy weight, to develop Osteoarthritis in the other knee as well. This is because the extra fat places a mechanical load on the cartilage and the bone that activates the structure.
Fatty Liver Disease:
Practically all hefty drinkers develop this health condition, however, it is rapidly becoming common among non-drinkers, as well. Particularly among individuals who are overweight or obese. Doctors state that obesity-related liver disease is the leading cause of liver transplantation and liver failure. Shedding those extra pounds is the cornerstone of the treatment of fatty liver disease.
obesity is a potent risk factor for the development and progression of chronic kidney disease. In addition, there appears to be a constant relation between obesity and lower mortality in those with chronic kidney disease, particularly among hemodialysis patients. This suggests that the reverse epidemiology of obesity is in fact biologically possible.
In comparison to women possessing a healthy weight before pregnancy, women suffering from obesity face a higher risk of gestational diabetes, miscarriage, induced labor, C section, anesthetic problems, and wound infections, also they are less likely to initiate breastfeeding.
As we have seen being overweight can drastically affect one’s quality of life. Fortunately, it’s never too late to make a few changes in your lifestyle and prevent the health problems obesity causes. Start with small changes, such as reducing sweets and alcohol intake, incorporating fruits and vegetables in your diet, and devoting time for exercise.