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Effect of Obesity on Body



Obesity is a medical condition in which abnormal or excessive fat accumulation takes place throughout the body which may show a negative effect on health.

A person is considered obese if they have a high body mass index (BMI).

BMI measures your healthy weight in relation to your height.

For adults, a BMI of:

  • 5 to 24.9 - healthy weight
  • 25 to 29.9 - overweight
  • 30 to 39.9 - obese
  • 40 or above - severely obese

Causes of Obesity

The causes of obesity are complicated. There are many interrelated factors, that cause obesity such as:

  • Intake of more calories
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Medical reasons
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Social issues
  • Genetics

Effect of Obesity on the Body

Obesity is a serious disease that shows a negative effect on many systems of the body. People who are obese or overweight have an increased risk of developing serious health conditions.

Day-to-day effects of obesity on the body include:

  1. Increased sweating
  2. Breathlessness
  3. Snoring
  4. Difficulty in doing physical activity
  5. Feeling of tiredness
  6. Joint and back pain
  7. Low confidence
  8. The psychological problems
  9. Obesity can also affect your relationships with family and friends, and may lead to stress and depression.

Obesity also leads to some serious health conditions. Obesity can cause a lot of damage to the body. Serious health conditions:

1. Type 2 diabetes

Obesity is a major reason for type 2 diabetes. Obesity can cause changes in cells and make them resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar, but when obesity causes insulin resistance, then blood sugar cannot be used up by the cells and blood sugar level becomes elevated. Even mild obesity can increase the risk of diabetes.

So losing weight and regular physical activities can help to control your blood sugar levels.

2. High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

High blood pressure is linked to obesity in several ways. Having an oversize body may increase blood pressure and increase the workload of the heart because our heart needs to pump harder to circulate blood to all cells. Extra weight can increase the heart rate and also cause damage to the kidneys, which help regulate blood pressure.

3. Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke

Obesity causes an increase in blood pressure and high blood pressure leads to cerebrovascular Disease and stroke. Obesity puts pressure on the whole circulatory system which increases the risk of stroke

This pressure increases your risk of stroke. There are various risk factors of stroke, such as heart disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, lipid abnormalities, type 2 diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea.

4. Sleep apnea

Obesity is the most serious risk factor for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing for short periods, disrupts sleep throughout the night and leads to sleepiness in the daytime. It also causes heavy snoring. In addition, fat deposited in the neck and throughout the body produces some substances that cause inflammation in the neck and it is a risk factor for sleep apnea.

5. Cancer

Weight gain as an adult has a possibility of cancer development.Fat cells may secrete hormones that affect cell growth and lead to cancer. In women, it has a higher risk of breast cancer, colon, gallbladder, and uterus and in men, it includes colon cancer and prostate cancers.

6. Osteoarthritis

Being overweight or obese is one of the risk factors for osteoarthritis, which affects the knee, hip, or back. Extra weight may put extra pressure on joints and cartilage (a tissue cushioning the joints and normally protects them) and causing them to wear away. In addition, extra body fat may increase the blood levels of some substances which cause inflammation and inflamed joints may increase the risk for osteoarthritis.

So losing weight can reduce stress on the knees, hips, and lower back and may reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

7. Liver Disease

Obesity can also cause fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Most of the obese people have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease can cause damage to the liver and interfere with liver function which can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.

8. Kidney disease

Obesity raises the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, which are the most common causes of chronic kidney disease. Obesity itself may develop chronic kidney disease.

9. Respiratory Disorders

Respiratory disorders associated with obesity occur when the extra weight of the chest wall compresses the lungs and reduced lung capacity. Obese people have a greater risk of respiratory infections. It can cause asthma that tends to be more common among obese people.

10. Pregnancy Problems

Pregnant women who are overweight are more prone to develop insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar level. Overweight also increases the risks of surgery and anesthesia, and severe obesity may increase surgery time and blood loss.

Too much weight gain during pregnancy shows long term effects for both mother and baby. The mother will have overweight after giving birth to baby and baby may gain too much weight as later become a child or adult.

11. Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder disease and gallstones are more common in people with overweight or obesity. But rapid weight loss may also increase the risk of gall stone.

12. Alzheimer’s Disease

Obesity at middle-age may create that conditions which later in life can increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

13. Septicemia

Septicemia is a severe infection that can instantly lead to septic shock and death. People affected by obesity, especially severe obesity are more likely to have a higher risk of septicemia.

14. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Obesity can increase the risk of GERD, erosive esophagitis and rarely, esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma).

15. Heart Disease

Obesity increases the risk of heart disease. People with severe obesity have a higher risk of a heart attack. Obesity raises your risk of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) and heart failure.  Atherosclerosis is 10 times more often present in obese people as compared to people having normal weight.

16. Gout

Gout is a disease which affects the joints. Gout is more common in obese people. The more you weigh, the more you are prone to develop gout.

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