Obesity is a major problem all over the world. The World Health Organization stated that almost 2 billion people were overweight in 2016, and over a third of these can be classified as obese. This number, however, only includes those who are 18 years old and above.
Obesity has risen dramatically over the years. This can be attributed to poor diet, the prevalence of high fat and high sugar junk foods, as well as a lack of focus on exercise and physical activity. As such, cases of obesity have increased almost three times within the last 40 years.
Aside from the two billion adults considered to be obese around the world, the WHO also estimates that there are around 340 children and adolescents that are obese, with second and third world countries even seeing a rise in numbers in the previous years.
While the more obvious complications of obesity are physical in nature, being extremely overweight can lead to some serious medical conditions.
Being obese has been attributed to having a shorter life expectancy than those who have an optimal body weight, which is why correcting this condition is a must if you want to live longer.
Here are some of the conditions that can be caused by being obese, as well as some things that you can do to reduce your weight as well as to prevent this condition from happening.
The Difference Between Obesity and Being Overweight
Obesity and being overweight are, strictly speaking, two different things. However, both are unhealthy states to be in with the former being much more dangerous when it comes to being a risk factor to a number of diseases.
Determining the difference between these two conditions is based on your body mass index. This is computed based on a person’s age, height, and weight. A BMI of between 25 and 29.9 means that you are overweight. Anything above 30 BMI is considered as obese.
However, this method of competition can be misleading especially for athletes or weightlifters. As such, a bodybuilder or someone similar may have a high BMI but does not necessarily mean that the person is obese due to the extreme presence of body mass in the form of muscle.
Common Heath Problems Linked to Obesity
Obese people will be prone to fatigue and will have trouble catching their breaths. Aside from these as well as some mobility issues, here are some of the diseases that commonly come as a consequence of having too much excess weight in the body.
Heart-related concerns such as high blood pressure are very common for those who are obese. As inflammation increases in the body, the heart will have a much harder time in circulating blood. A poor diet will also cause plaque to build up in the arteries.
As such, those who are obese will have higher cases of hypertension and chronic heart disease. Deaths due to strokes and cardiac arrest are also very common for those belonging in this group.
Type 2 Diabetes
While Type 1 diabetes is mostly genetic in nature, Type 2 diabetes is often caused by poor lifestyle choices, and obesity is one of the main triggering factors. Those who are obese have a much higher risk of contracting diabetes, and the chances grow higher the longer they are obese and the older they get.
Obesity has been linked to several types of cancers, and both males and females have a high chance of getting this condition unless they are able to shed those excess pounds. Colon, breast, liver, and bladder cancers are the more common types of cancers that may appear if you are obese.
Arthritis is a very common affliction for those who are obese. This is because the joints are put into too much pressure and for too long due to the excess weight that they are forced to carry and move around. Inflammation of the joints such as the knees and hips are often experienced, while others may suffer from chronic back pain as well.
Sleep apnea is common for those who are obese due to the narrowing for air passageways. Aside from associated breathing problems, those suffering from sleep apnea may snore loudly and will experience poor quality of sleep. This can be troublesome as those with sleep apnea may suffer from heart attacks or strokes during sleep as well.
Those who are obese will be twice as more likely to have sleep apnea than those who are able to maintain their normal weight.
Obese people are much more prone to mental disorders. This may be due to bullying, a sense of lack of control over their eating habits, as well as a lack of self-confidence. Obese people are more susceptible to bouts of depression which can lead to further difficulty to lose weight due to stress eating.
How to Maintain Regular Weight
Many of the above conditions can be avoided by leading a healthy lifestyle, but one of the most important things to do is to maintain your regular weight through healthy means. Those who have a normal BMI can function more properly and can reduce their risk of a myriad of diseases and medical conditions.
Some of the ways that you can prevent obesity or lose excess weight are the following:
- Have a healthy diet that is low in calories, sugar, sodium, and fat
- Incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal
- Get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day (a combination of resistance and aerobic activities are recommended)
- Drink plenty of water
- Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night
- Reduce intake of alcohol
By practising the healthy habits mentioned above, you can reduce your weight and enjoy the health benefits associated with it. It will be a slow and difficult process, but your body will definitely thank you for it.
It is also recommended to visit a dietician or any other type of specialist if you want to engage in any weight loss plan so that you can be guided on how to effectively and safely lose weight.