Obesity has become a major health problem worldwide in the 21st century. By 2016 almost 39% of all adults worldwide above 18 years were considered to be overweight.
Primary Causes Of Obesity On Overall Health
By 2012 in America, almost 35% of their adult population was medically obese
These large sections of people who are struggling with obesity also become high-risk for developing some severe health complications like diabetes, heart disease, and more.
The Negative Impact Of Obesity On Overall Health
- One of the main problems faced by people with an unhealthy body mass index is an increased risk of cardiovascular conditions like stroke and heart disease.
- Diabetes cases are also increasing rapidly due to a rise in obesity. Even children are falling prey to the dual health crisis of obesity and type II diabetes.
- People suffering from obesity are also at a higher risk of developing bone fractures and some musculoskeletal conditions like osteoarthritis which weakens the joints and reduces mobility
- Hypertension is also a common side effect of obesity
- Obesity also brings with it a gamut of psychological effects
- People who suffer from obesity are also more likely to experience breathing problems in their lifetime
- A study by WHO has found that prolonged obesity increases the risk of developing certain cancers like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, gall bladder cancer, liver cancer, and kidney cancer
- It has also been noticed that in some low income countries where people do not have access to proper nutrition, they often end up consuming cheap mass-produced high-fat, high-sugar products. As a result malnutrition and obesity often attack side by side as well.
Obesity & Heart Disease
Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors behind stroke, peripheral heart disease, and coronary heart disease. Obese people become more prone to these dangerous complications because obesity brings with it a gamut of associated problems like:
- High HDL cholesterol – this high level of bad cholesterol is believed to be a major reason behind the poor cardiovascular health of many obese individuals
- Low LDL levels- people who are overweight also have low levels of good cholesterol in their body
- High triglycerides- almost all individuals with obesity have high triglyceride levels in their blood. High triglyceride levels can harm the arteries that carry blood to the heart and decrease heart function
- Hypertension- high blood pressure associated with obesity is also a major reason behind the declining cardiac heath of obese individuals
- Sedentary lifestyle- people who suffer from obesity generally lead a very sedentary lifestyle with very little physical activity. As a result they become very high risk for developing heart diseases.
- Insulin resistance- people with obesity often suffer from diabetes as a result of insulin resistance and prolonged levels of high blood sugar can also weaken the heart
- Excess abdominal fat- obese people generally have increased abdominal fat and such stores of excess fat in the body also increases the risk of heart problems
Doctors are not yet sure if obesity itself, or the different co-morbidities associated with obesity are the reason behind a large number of heart diseases and strokes among overweight individuals. But whatever may be the exact correlation, numerous studies all over the world have been able to establish a direct link between obesity and poor heart health. Doctors all over the world are now trying to spread awareness about obesity and healthy eating in order to control the growing obesity epidemic worldwide.
How To Manage Obesity-Related Risk Factors
Studies have shown that the risk factor for different co-morbidities associated with obesity all go up in degree as the person’s weight goes up. So controlling total body weight is very important.
There are many ways in which a person can lose weight:
- Diet- a good, healthy balanced diet can go a long way in helping a person control their weight. Nutritionists and dieticians can create specifically designed diet charts for obese people to help them reduce weight and regain their health
- Exercise- but it is not possible to lose a large amount of weight simply with a change in diet. Regular exercise guided by professional trainers is also extremely important to get a person back into a healthy shape
- Surgery- in some severe cases when a person has developed multiple health conditions due to obesity and is completely unable to control their weight by diet and exercise, then doctors may recommend some form of weight loss surgery.
Obesity is a major problem of human society and everyone from governments and doctors and food manufacturers need to work together to manage this problem.