Obesity & Its Negative Affects On Your Health
An estimated 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese, a condition that substantially raises the risk of serious illness from hypertension, high blood cholesterol levels, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, as well as breast, colon, endometrial and prostate cancers. Higher body weights are also associated with an increase in early death. As the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, obesity poses a major public health challenge.
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How Obesity Affects Your Health
Each year, obesity-related conditions cost over 100 billion dollars and cause premature deaths in the US. The health affects associated with obesity include, but are not limited to, the following:
High Blood Pressure – Additional fat stored places the body into an infl ammatory state. The body reacts by releasing a multitude of hormones and chemicals into the blood stream which promote fl uid retention leading to higher blood pressure.
Diabetes – Obesity is the major cause of type 2 diabetes. Obesity can cause resistance to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. When obesity causes insulin resistance, the blood sugar becomes elevated. Diabetes causes a myriad of issues with the organs of the body.
Heart Disease – Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) occurs more often in obese people compared to those who are not obese. This process affects all blood vessels, including the coronary arteries, which can lead to chest pain (angina) or a heart attack.
Sleep Apnea – Sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing for brief periods, interrupts sleep throughout the night and causes sleepiness during the day.
Cancer – In women, being overweight contributes to an increased risk for a variety of cancers including breast, colon and uterine. Men who are overweight have a higher risk of colon and prostate cancers.
Psychosocial Affects – Depression and obesity are closely related. The cycle of depression can lead to overeating and a sedentary lifestyle which compounds weight gain.