There are many health issues that can result from being overweight. In fact, you do not have to be obese to suffer from a weight-related illness. We have already talked about BMI as an indicator of general health. Please, be aware that when your BMI reaches 25, you are at risk.
Another fact to keep in mind is that heart problems and diabetes often go hand-in-hand. If you have one of these as a result of obesity, you will probably have the other.
Below is a list of health conditions that are often related to being overweight:
- Cancer – Breast, other female cancers, and colon cancer are more prevalent in overweight and obese people.
- Diabetes — Type 2 diabetes is almost always related to weight issues.
- Gallbladder Disease – Individuals who have their gallbladders removed are often overweight.
- Gynecological Issues – Overweight women have a higher incidence of fertility problems, menstrual problems, and cancer than women of normal weight.
- Heart Disease is the #1 killer in the U.S. Even though it can strike anyone at any age, it is usually found in overweight and obese people. With a BMI of 25+ individuals increase the probability of contracting an obesity-related heart disease by 50%.
- High Blood Pressure – The ever-increasing problem of obesity is being recognized as one of the most important risk factors for the development of high blood pressure. It is twice as prevalent in obese people than in people of normal weight and is a major risk factor for developing heart disease, the primary cause of death among Americans older than 25. Losing weight will lower the blood pressure and lessen the risk of heart disease.
- High Triglycerides – If your BMI is 30+, there is a greater probability that you will have elevated levels of triglycerides, which transport fat through your body. High triglycerides increase the risk for heart disease.
- Liver Disease – This is far too common in the Western world – even among children; but more frequent in obese people. There are few symptoms until it is too late. It is irreversible and deadly.
- Osteoarthritis – Even being slightly overweight can create stress on the joints and result in this disease, which is degeneration of the cartilage in the joints of the body. There is no cure, so prevention is critical and can only be done by maintaining a normal weight.
- Respiratory Problems – Being overweight or obese can result in sleep apnea – a condition which causes the person to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. It causes snoring, painful joints, fatigue, generally feeling bad, and increases the risk of heart attack. It can often be corrected through weight loss.
- Stroke – Excess weight puts stress on the entire circulatory system and can increase the risk for stroke – a blood clot that blocks an artery and interrupts blood flow to the brain, which can be deadly. Eighty percent of strokes can be prevented with weight loss, exercise, and a healthy diet.
The key is to watch your weight. If you find it creeping up, check you BMI regularly. If it reaches 25, your health risks begin to increase. By keeping your BMI below 25, you are significantly reducing your chances of developing any of the diseases listed above. For some problems, such as Type 2 Diabetes, you may be able to reverse the illness.
A healthy diet of more fresh fruits and vegetables, elimination of sugar and fatty foods, plus regular exercise will produce remarkable results. Start protecting and improving your health today.
Photo Credit: Morbidly Obese Teen via photopin (license)