Health effects of being overweight

With 67% of the American population either overweight or obese, getting to a healthy weight has become a national obsession.  We see advertisements everywhere, on television, on the radio, in social media and online.  All of them offering different ways to lose weight, whether it’s through pills, a piece of equipment, an exercise DVD or a diet plan.  And they all focus on becoming skinny.  Body image is important, but becoming skinny is not the most important aspect of weight loss.

Being overweight effects all aspects of your health, from physical to mental.  Research has shown that being overweight or obese can greatly increase your chances of developing several different conditions and disorders.

overweight risks

One of the main diseases related to obesity is heart disease.  Heart disease is caused by elevated cholesterol levels.  The cholesterol clings to your artery walls causing plaque buildup, which reduces or blocks blood flow to your heart.  This can lead to a heart attack.

Heart disease is directly related to diet and indirectly related to exercise.  If you follow a healthy diet of low-fat foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean cuts of meats, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and are physically active 30 minutes a day, not only will this decrease your weight, but decrease your chances of developing heart disease.

Another common problem from being overweight or obese is developing type II diabetes.  Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are too high.  Normally, the body uses a compound called insulin to move blood glucose into the body’s cells where glucose is used as an energy source.  With type II diabetes, either the body is not producing enough insulin to transport the glucose or the body’s cells ignore the insulin molecule.  This causes a buildup of glucose in the blood.  Diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and blindness.  But by following a healthy diet and exercise program, you can decrease your chances of developing type II diabetes.

Being overweight or obese can also effect your joints.  Osteoarthritis is a painful condition where the cartilage in your joints wears down over time.  The cartilage provides a cushion in our joints to absorb the shock and pounding of moving bodies to keep these stresses off the bones.  When the cartilage wears away, the bone directly absorbs the shock causing a large amount of pain and swelling in the joint.  The stress of the extra weight on joints causes the cartilage to wear away at a quicker rate so osteoarthritis is developed at a faster rate in the overweight population.

The risk of developing sleep disorders, specifically sleep apnea, increases with being overweight.  Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing several times while asleep.  When a person is overweight, they tend to have more fat stored around the neck.  This extra weight can actually depress airways and cause obstructions in breathing when lying down.  Sleep apnea causes disruptions in sleep, leaving a person feeling fatigued throughout the day.  It can also lead to high blood pressure, memory problems and headaches.

By losing weight, a person can decrease their risk of developing all of these disorders.  Not only will body image increase, but health will too.  And that’s a great reason to lose weight, the healthy way.

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4 responses to “Health effects of being overweight

  1. Thanks, I’ve given up or quit exercising the past month and 1/2. I just lacked motivation. I gained three pounds over the holidays too. But I might have weighed more since I might have just ate. The last time I weighed it was 247, which is a loss of six pounds. It was different scales though. Im going to work on those 47 ponds right now-starting today I’m going to cut back and start exercising again! Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Quietwoman
      Losing a lot of weight and keeping it off for good is tough, but it can be done. I tracked down information about people who managed this, and it all came down to a completely changed mindset, which distinguished the final, successful attempt from repeated failed attempts in the past.
      I hope you don’t think this is a cynical plug for my book, it truly isn’t, but I wondered if it would be of interest to you when I read your comment. The link below is for my WP blog, but links to the book. Good luck on your quest to reclaim your health.
      Beth

      http://bethduffus.com/2014/12/11/welcome/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Beth. I asked for my husband’s help..asked him to encourage me to exercise and recently we both got bikes. I rode it for about two miles and finished it off with a slow one mile walk. He ebemn aired up the tires and lowered the seat on my bike. We have slight hills where we live so it really worked out my thigjh muscles. It was a nice workout since I quit exercising for a while.:)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Very true! It is all about mindset. Once you are ready, it will happen. You will conquer all the difficulties you had in the past (you will still have difficulties, but you can and will overcome them when you are ready!) Take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and one pound at a time. And just remember – YOU CAN DO THIS!

    Liked by 1 person

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