Obesity Affects Your Health

Many people still think losing weight is only for cosmetics reasons. In fact, being morbidly overweight can be a serious and in some cases life threatening health factor. The positive benefits of keeping your Body Mass Index within the healthy range are both physically and psychologically tremendous. To understand why, we need to know what health risks are associated with obesity first.

What health risks are associated with obesity?

Being overweight can lead to health complications on many levels.  Major concerns with overweight people are the risks of type two diabetes and coronary heart disease. Without being alarmist it remains a stark fact that if you over-eat and neglect your body without active life style, these are two potential outcomes. Type two diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar levels are above normal. High blood sugar is a major cause of coronary heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, amputation, and blindness. Diabetes affects 2.8 million people in the UK[1]. It is thought that a further one million people have the condition but are not aware of it. Around 90% of all adult diabetes patients in the UK have type 2 diabetes[2], and it is most often associated with old age, obesity, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes, and physical inactivity. The disease is more common among certain ethnic populations.

So why is weight a concern when it comes to diabetes? Well, more than 85 percent of people with type two diabetes are overweight. While the exact links to weight and the disease remain an area of research, it is widely believed that being overweight causes cells to change, making them resistant to the hormone insulin. Insulin carries sugar from blood to the cells, where it is used for energy and if a person is insulin resistant, blood sugar cannot be taken up by the cells, resulting in high blood sugar. In addition, the cells that produce insulin must work extra hard to try to keep blood sugar normal. This may cause these cells to gradually fail.

Assessing Risk from Overweight and Obesity [3

BMI Classification

Waist Circumference

Low

High

Very High

Normal Weight No increased risk No increased risk Increased risk
Overweight (BMI 25-30) No increased risk Increased risk High risk
Obesity (BMI 30-35) Increased risk High risk Very high risk

Note: For men, low waist circumference is defined as less than 94 cm, high as 94–102 cm, and very high as greater than 102 cm. For women, low waist circumference is less than 80 cm, high is 80–88 cm and very high as greater than 88 cm.

 

Take positive action for a healthy life

For most of us, gastric bands and gastric balloons are not a measure we will have to resort to, but everyone needs to be on their guard and do all they can to ensure a healthy BMI, waist circumference, and, in turn, a healthy heart.  For those overweight people who have tried every diet under the sun and made significant lifestyle changes and stepped up their exercise but to no avail, a obesity surgeries may prove to be the answer. Again, it is not something that should be entered into lightly as it demands a great deal of discipline of the part of the patient in order to achieve successful results as food behaviour and eating patterns have to be addressed and changes made. Controlling your weight and protecting yourself against these health risks is all about the calories you take in and the energy you expend. When you consume more calories than you burn off your body stores the extra calories as fat and you will soon notice your weight creeping up.  Storing a couple of extra pounds of body fat doesn’t pose a risk to most people but getting into a pattern of eating more calories than you burn off can quickly become a problem that could result in poor health. Obesity surgery coupled with aftercare programs we can change your behavior and relationship with food for better.

[1], [2]: Source: Statistics on obesity, physical activity and diet: England, 2012. Publisher: The Health and Social Care Information Centre, NHS.

[3]: Source: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines

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