How Obesity Influences Health

We often think of being obesity as a cosmetic issue. When we talk about weight loss, the focus is often on fitting into a certain style of clothing or looking “good” for an upcoming event. However, weight loss is about much more than liking the way you look.

Obesity is a chronic disease that increases your risk of developing serious health complications. Losing weight can reduce your risk of health concerns, and help you develop a healthier lifestyle.

The Risk of Obesity

Extreme overweight is measured through a scale called the body mass index or BMI. This is a ratio of height to weight that helps define what a healthy weight range is and thereby provides a bit of context to the number that appears on the scale. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy. If your BMI is over 30, you may be considered obese.

The higher your BMI is, the greater your risk becomes for developing health complications. Obesity is associated with a heightened risk of a long list of chronic diseases. These conditions are often referred to as obesity-related diseases or comorbidities.

Extreme Overweight increases your risk for conditions like:

  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Heart disease or heart attack
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Hyperlipidemia, including poor cholesterol levels and high triglycerides
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gallstones

Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of some forms of cancer, including prostate, colon and breast cancer.

Mental Health and Obesity

In addition to the above listed physical health conditions, obesity increases your risk of developing mental health issues. Being overweight or obese often comes with a social stigma, and this can lead to decreased self-esteem, lower confidence and mood changes. For these reasons, obesity will put you at a heightened risk for depression, a mood disorder marked by chronic feelings of helplessness, despair and unhappiness. Those who are overweight or obese are also more susceptible to severe anxiety, eating disorders and PTSD.

Addressing Health Issues via Weight Loss

Losing weight will reduce your risk for developing weight related diseases, and in some cases can even reverse the onset of certain illnesses. You don’t need to reach your ultimate weight loss goal to start experiencing health benefits. Losing even a moderate amount of weight can result in a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, and noticeable improvements in your overall health.

  • Understanding the Glycemic Index
    Carbohydrates are one of the six essential nutrients. Despite common talk about avoiding carbohydrates for weight loss, our bodies require them to thrive. Carbohydrates contain sugar. When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks down that sugar and absorbs it into the cells with the help of a hormone called insulin, where it is then converted to fuel and used for energy.
  • Reasons to Consider Weight Loss Surgery
    Getting weight loss surgery is a choice that can have a major influence on your health and quality of life for years to come. The conversation surrounding weight loss surgery may come up at the advice of a doctor, after seeing a friend who was successful in their weight loss efforts or maybe after a series of frustrating weight loss attempts.
  • Managing Special Occasions after Weight Loss Surgery
    Every time you turn the corner there is another fast food restaurant or bakery loaded with its own temptations, and you do what you can to stand strong and stick to your post-bariatric diet plan.
  • Healthy Shopping Strategies for a Healthy Household
    When one person in a household gets weight loss surgery, it is actually common for other members of that household to lose weight too. This is called a “halo effect.”
  • Making Healthy Food Substitutions after Weight Loss Surgery
    Approximately six weeks following weight loss surgery you’ll start making the gradual transition back to a whole-foods diet. This is an exciting period for many people. After weeks of gaining sustenance through liquids and soft foods, being able to enjoy a regular meal is something to look forward to.