America is blessed with about 324 million individuals of different races, religions and cultures. About one-third of these or 118 million Americans suffer from a serious health disorder that makes them susceptible to several diseases.
One of these health problems is on the increase every single passing day. Yes, we are talking about obesity that is a growing concern in the US. Being obese or overweight is not just a cosmetic problem. If left unaddressed, it can lead to the development of many serious health disorders, some of which will be the subject matter of this article.
The Dangers of Obesity
Food is sometimes rightfully compared to a childhood friend. When treated well, you can experience great joy and delight. However, when abused, you should expect retribution that is anything but sweet. Overeating is nothing more than abusing the food due to which it literally turns into a silent killer.
Here are five deadly risks of obesity that will make you consider taking action to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Risk of a Heart Attack
Simply stated, the heavier you are, the more your heart has to work to perform its daily tasks. When you add more weight, your heart has to increase the blood flow in your body more than it had to do previously. One would think that this would equate to a faster beating heart, but instead, the heart enlarges slightly so it can pump the increased blood flow with each beat; however, this increased blood flow leads to high blood pressure, which is a major cause of heart disease.
Obesity also raises the chances of gaining the bad cholesterol levels (also known as low-density lipoprotein (LPL) that stick to the walls of arteries.
Bottom line – Being overweight results in a heavier workload for the heart.
Being overweight raises the risks of several types of cancer including colon, breast, kidney, uterine, and stomach cancers. Studies have also shown that obesity increases the risk of ovaries, gallbladder, and pancreatic cancers.
It has been found that overweight people many times have chronic low-level inflammation, which can potentially cause DNA damage. This damage may then result in certain types of cancer. Obese people have a higher chance to acquire health disorders which are linked to chronic local inflammation, which subsequently increases the risk of getting cancer.
Excess body weight also results in increased risk of diabetes. This is usually caused by the excessive level of blood sugar in the body. The pancreas is the body produce a large amount of insulin to control the high blood sugar levels. Ultimately, the body organ fails to function properly due to which the individual becomes dependent on insulin medication.
Osteoarthritis is another common health disorder of the hips, knees and the lower back. The condition happens when excess weight puts pressure on the joints due to which the tissues that protect the joints wear away causing great pain.
Obese individuals are at an increased risk of developing a sleeping disorder known as sleep apnea. The individual suffering from the condition experiences shallow breathing when asleep. As a result, the person is not able to achieve normal sleep at night. The condition develops when the excess fat around the neck constricts the airways making it hard for the individual to breathe.
Sleep Apnea can lead to other issues as well, such as, feeling tired during the day and a greater risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
The above are just some of the serious health complications that result from being overweight. You can greatly reduce the risk of developing these disorders by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
A good way to start is to check you Body Mass Index (BMI), which is BMI is a screening mechanism that will tell you if you are underweight, overweight, obese or normal for your height and weight. It is a pretty good indicator of how much weight you need to lose (if any). Simply check any BMI calculator table and you can quickly determine where you are as far as body weight is concerned.
Eating a well-balanced diet and a moderate exercise routine can go a long way towards a healthy weight, but for those that need some extra support, there are many diet programs available. With that said, it is highly recommended to speak to your doctor who can direct you to the right diet plan.
Howard Fensterman is a managing partner of the New York-based law firm – Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP. and has gained a reputation due to high-quality legal services as well as contributions to different charitable organizations in the United States.