Harmful Effects of Excess Weight
Weight is not just a number
Some of us make the mistake of thinking that obesity is just a cosmetic problem and can be lived with. What we do not realize is that obesity can severely disrupt our health.
Initially, you may start noticing that you feel breathless after climbing up a few stairs or you might wake up from sleep because you feel unable to breath, or you may have started experiencing pain in your knees while walking. As the extra kilos pile up, they start affecting almost all the organs of our body; ultimately causing severe disease conditions.
How excess weight affects good health
As we gain weight, the number of cells storing fat increase. These cells release chemical messengers called cytokines. These cytokines act on normal metabolism (breakdown of carbohydrate and fat) and modify a number of other processes. This can increase the risk of a number of disease conditions.1
The figure below will give you an idea of the how obesity affects every system of our body. Just hover over each one to find out more about the condition.
|Obesity-related health conditions||Description|
|Cancer||Obesity increases risk of certain types of cancers like colon, breast, endometrial, and gallbladder cancer2,3|
|Breathing Difficulties||Excess fat puts pressure on the lung and other muscles required for breathing. This makes the person breathless.7|
|Arthritis or joint problems||Too much weight puts pressure on joints and causes pain.3|
|Infertility and reproductive problems||Weight gain can lead to a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS. This condition makes menses irregular. Up to 80% women suffering from PCOS are obese.8|
|Depression||Excess fat gives the feeling of not being good enough and not looking attractive. This makes the person have low self-esteem and low confidence. All this leads to depression.4|
|Sleep Disorders like sleep apnea||Excess fat stores around the neck. This makes the airways smaller and breathing difficult. Breathing may even stop for some time waking the person up from sleep. This is called sleep apnea.3 7 in 10 people suffering from sleep apnea are obese.5|
|Heart Problems||Excess fat increases blood pressure, blood fats and LDL (bad cholesterol). All these can cause heart disease and stroke.2|
|Type2 diabetes||More than 80% people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.2,6|
|Metabolic syndrome||Weight gain leads to high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol which together forms metabolic syndrome.3|
Weight challenges us every day – physically, emotionally, and financially
Everyday activities that others may take for granted like lifting a bag, squatting, or rising from a chair can take so much more effort with excess weight. The stares of the people around and the whispered conversations in office, or social functions, and even in hospitals affect those with excess weight emotionally.2 Not only this, living with obesity can drain you financially. Think about all the big medical bills and hospital visits the related health problems can generate in the long run.
Make a choice: obesity or healthy life
So, don’t take your chances against obesity; change your life today.
Losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle may be difficult at first, but is ultimately rewarding. Read more about the different weight loss options like diet, exercise, and medication. If all other weight loss options have failed for you, you might want to consider the option of bariatric surgery.
Take our Personalized weight loss planner test to find out which weight loss options can suit you.
Disclaimer: Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider.
1.Brethauer S, Kashyap S, Schauer P. Obesity. [internet]. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Center for Continuing Education. 2013. [cited 2015 Nov 27] Available from: http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/endocrinology/obesity/
2.Health risks of adult obesity. [internet] Public Health England [cited 2016 Jan 08] Available from: http://www.noo.org.uk/NOO_about_obesity/obesity_and_health/health_risk_adult
3.What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity? [internet] National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. NIH. [cited 2015 Nov 27] Available from: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/risks
4.Agrawal P, Gupta K, Mishra V, Agrawal S. The Psychosocial Factors Related to Obesity: A Study Among Overweight, Obese, and Morbidly Obese Women in India, Women & Health. 2015; 55:623-645
5.Tuomilehto H, Seppä J, Uusitupa M. Obesity and obstructive sleep apnea--clinical significance of weight loss. Sleep Med Rev. 2013 Oct; 17(5):321-9.
6.F as in fat: how obesity policies are failing in America. [internet] Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Washington, DC. July 2009. [cited 2015 Dec 08] Available from: http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2009/Obesity2009Report.pdf
7.Ali AT, Crowther NJ. Health risks associated with obesity. JEMDSA. July 2005; 10(2):56-61
8.Sam S. Obesity and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Obes Manag. 2007 April; 3(2): 69–73.