Being overweight and obesity are two of the leading preventable causes of death in the United States. Being overweight or obese increases your chances of developing chronic health problems.
According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, people aged 60 and up are more likely to be obese than younger adults. Children are also affected.
As a board-certified internal medicine physician Prabhdeep Singh, MD, helps patients in El Centro, California, improve their health, including reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. Losing weight if you’re overweight or obese is essential to cutting your risk of developing certain chronic diseases.
Weight issues take a heavy toll on health
A healthy weight allows bones, muscles, the brain, the heart, and other organs to function efficiently. Excess body fat impairs almost every aspect of health, from reproductive and respiratory function to memory and mood.
Obesity raises the risk of many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. The good news is that losing weight can reduce some of the risks associated with obesity. Losing as little as 5 to 10% of body weight improves health and reduces the risk of chronic disease. The following are just some of the health problems that can develop due to diabetes.
The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is most strongly influenced by body weight. In the Nurses’ Health Study, the risk of developing diabetes was 93 times higher among women with a body mass index (BMI) of 35.
Even if you’re within a healthy weight range, gaining weight in adulthood can increase type 2 diabetes risk. Fat cells, especially those stored around the waist, secrete hormones and other substances that fire inflammation.
Although inflammation is an essential component of the immune system and part of the healing process, chronic inflammation causes various health problems.
Inflammation can make the body less responsive to insulin and change how the body metabolizes fats and carbohydrates, leading to higher blood sugar levels and, eventually, diabetes.
Obesity can affect many aspects of reproduction. Infertility is lowest in women with BMIs between 20 and 24 and increases with lower and higher BMIs in the Nurses’ Health Study.
Obesity may be responsible for 25% of ovulatory infertility in the United States. Obesity increases the risk of early and late miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and complications during labor and delivery during pregnancy. It also causes a slight increase in the chances of having a child with congenital problems.
Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States. People who carry excess weight frequently have health issues that may increase their risk of heart disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar are examples of these health issues. Furthermore, excess weight may cause changes in your heart that make it work harder to send blood to all of your body's cells.
High blood pressure, abnormal blood fat levels, and high blood glucose levels can all increase your risk of heart disease. Losing 5 to 10% of your body weight reduces heart disease risk factors.
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes one or more pauses in breathing while sleeping. Sleep apnea can cause daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and even heart failure. Obesity is the leading risk factor for sleep apnea. More fat accumulates in your neck when you’re overweight, which can cause airways to narrow.
A smaller airway can make breathing difficult, or cause breathing to stop completely for short periods. Furthermore, fat stored in the neck and body may produce inflammatory substances. Neck inflammation is a risk factor for sleep apnea.
While obesity can significantly affect health, it isn’t a permanent condition. Weight loss can be achieved through diet, exercise, medications, and even surgery. If you’re struggling with your weight, schedule a visit with Dr. Singh at our El Centro, California office to discuss our medically-supervised weight loss program.