The unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles of today have contributed to an alarming increase in obesity rates in both children and adults.
More than a cosmetic problem, obesity has emerged as a major health problem causing a number of ailments and complications. As per medical standards, if a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) is higher than 30, he or she is obese. Currently, the condition has been elevated to a serious public health problem and major cause of death worldwide. Recent studies show that if you are overweight and obese, you are more likely to develop one or more of the following health problems.
Heart disease and stroke: Did you know that an obese person has 10 times more chances of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) as compared to a non-obese person? Likewise, certain other heart conditions like Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and heart attack are more frequent in overweight and obese people. Such people are also linked to very high blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides which can lead to a number of heart ailments and even stroke.
Type 2 Diabetes: Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, also called Type 2 Diabetes is another common health problem among obese patients. Statistically, such people are twice as likely to develop diabetes which, in turn, reduces the body’s ability to control blood sugar. This condition is a major cause of early death, kidney disease, heart disease and even blindness.
High blood pressure: Commonly referred to as hypertension, this condition is strongly associated with obesity. Presence of additional body fat leads to the circulation of more blood to these tissues as they need oxygen and nutrients to survive. To pump more blood, the work load on the heart and the pressure on the artery walls increase. One of the most effective ways to control obesity-related-hypertension is a strategic weight loss program.
Cancer: Obesity is linked with several types of cancer including breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer and cancer of the uterus. Apart from this, recent studies have indicated that there is an increased risk for overweight men developing cancer of the rectum, colon and prostate.
Sleep apnea: This form of sleeping disorder is characterized by abnormally low breathing for short periods and heavy snoring. The risk of sleep apnea increases with higher body weights and can be reversed with lifestyle changes and effective weight-loss programs.
Osteoarthritis: The association between Osteoarthritis and obesity is that, increased weight places extra pressure on body joints and wears away the protective cartilage in between. This is particularly seen in weight-bearing joints like knee, hips and lower back joints. The best way to decrease this extra stress on the joints is by regular weight loss exercises and a balanced diet.