Obesity is a condition wherein an individual has excessive body weight or fat, which may affect his or her general health. Individuals who have high body mass index measurements are termed as obese. The tool used by doctors to assess an individual’s appropriate weight for his or her height is known as the body mass index (BMI). A measure of between 25 and 29.9 on the BMI scale indicates excess body weight whereas a BMI of 30 and above clearly suggests an obese individual.
Negative effects of obesity
Obesity or being overweight can cause health problems, including heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. During pregnancy, being overweight may lead to long- or short-term health issues for both the mother and child.
There is a strong link between obesity and health conditions. These health conditions include high blood pressure, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, stroke and heart disease, osteoarthritis, some types of cancer, and pregnancy complications. Excess weight influences the changes in the heart, pushing the heart to work harder in sending blood to all other cells within the body.
Weight gain in adults increases several cancer risks even if the said weight gain has not resulted in obesity. Although this fact is not well proven or explained, the fat cells release hormones which affect the growth of cells, potentially leading to cancer. Physical inactivity or eating habits that lead to obesity are said to contribute to the risk of getting cancer. These types of cancers include breast, kidney, rectum and colon, gallbladder, and endometrium.
Obesity is responsible for increased blood pressure and can cause a stroke. Excessive weight is also responsible for the increased chances of developing other health issues that have been linked to stroke, such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
Kidneys are bean-shaped organs that are responsible for filtering blood and excreting excess water and waste products in the forms of sweat and urine. Kidney disease indicates damaged kidneys. Obesity can promote and hasten the progression of kidney disease; thus obesity is one of the major causes of kidney disease.
An overweight pregnant woman is more likely to become resistant to insulin; therefore, high blood pressure and high blood sugar can develop. Severe obesity can be responsible for excessive blood loss due to increased surgery time. An overweight expectant woman also carries the risk of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, which could lead to the need for a C-section and extended recovery periods.
Apart from the risks mentioned, obesity or excess body weight leads to low self-esteem, which is not good for any individual. Therefore, it is always essential to make sure you eat healthily, keep a healthy meal/food diary to monitor consumption, limit your sugar intake, drink lots of water, incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily meals, and have fitness sessions with your doctors’ permission. This way, you can avoid being obese and get the benefits of having a healthy weight.