the health fitness blog

Obesity and its health risks

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In recent years, some chronic diseases have increased in incidence worldwide, due to the current lifestyle of a large part of the population. One of these diseases is obesity.

This is a condition that affects more than 20 million people in Brazil alone and that has affected more and more young people. Many people try to lose weight, but have many difficulties due to lifestyle and genetic factors and end up with an accumulation of body fat.

And the higher the number on the scale, the greater the health risks, since excess weight and fat can greatly weaken the body.

Now learn a little more about what it is to be obese and learn how it can deteriorate health.

Accumulating fat

Obesity is characterized by excessive weight gain, with large accumulation of body fat. This accumulation is so extreme that it damages the person’s health in several aspects.

Not all weight gain is considered critical. A person’s body mass is assessed using the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing the person’s weight by their height squared. To be considered obese, the individual must have a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

This weight gain can be caused by several factors, but in general it is due to the combination of overeating and / or poor quality food, few physical activities and genetic predisposition.

Factors such as hormonal dysfunction, stress, smoking, social management, medication or other associated diseases can also contribute to weight gain.

Diet is the most relevant factor. The explosion of cases of obese people around the world proves this, as the world diet has become increasingly rich in ultra-processed, sugary and fatty foods and increasingly poor in fresh foods.

Ultra-calorie foods, with high sugar and carbohydrate rates, in addition to being increasingly accessible, have also become routine. And the variety of this type of food is very large, being consumed by people of all ages all the time.

Carbohydrates and sugars serve to give the body quick-release energy and are important for vital functions. However, when not used, the body turns them into fat and stores that energy for a time of scarcity.

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The sedentary lifestyle, stimulated by modern amenities and the hustle and bustle of everyday life helps to make the situation worse. As there is no burning of energy, there is no scarcity and the reserve only increases, the energy input is much greater than consumption and as a consequence, there is the accumulation of fat.

Carrying extra luggage

Many people consider obesity unsightly, but the problem goes far beyond appearance. All the fat stored in the body also causes health risks that can develop into serious problems.

This is due to several factors. But one of the things to consider is the extra effort the body needs to make to function. It is as if the body carried extra luggage, which only takes up space. Fat and extra weight gradually cause weakness in bodily functions due to extra effort.

Another issue to consider is that fat can accumulate in organs and tissues, as well as circulate in the blood and accumulate in veins and arteries.

All of this greatly increases the risk of various diseases and chronic conditions, which if left untreated can become very complicated, even causing death. The main risks to the health of obese people are:

  • Arterial hypertension:Overweight people have a high risk of high blood pressure. Hypertension is caused by the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries. If the pressure increases and remains high, the body can be weakened in several ways. This is a disease known as the “silent killer” because it does not produce symptoms until it is at a more advanced stage.
  • Heart diseases:the obese individual in general has high levels of bad cholesterol, good cholesterol at low levels, in addition to high levels of triglycerides. These factors, potentiated by arterial hypertension, greatly increase the risk of heart diseases such as heart attack, heart failure, angina and strokes
  • Diabetes:Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and is closely linked to being overweight. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas secretes insulin, but it cannot get the cells to use glucose for energy. Uncontrolled diabetes brings many health problems, such as serious vascular problems that can end in limb loss and can also be fatal.
  • Musculoskeletal diseases:excess weight forces muscles and ligaments a lot, causing joint problems, especially in the knees, hips and spine, which they suffer to support such a heavy body. The main diseases caused are gout, osteoarthritis and cartilage degeneration, which cause pain and swelling.
  • Gallbladder disease:obesity causes an increase in cholesterol bile secretion, which causes bile saturation and a greater occurrence of gallstones. Gallstones appear much more in obese people than in people with controlled weight.
  • Respiratory diseases:Other organs that suffer from the accumulation of fat are those of the respiratory system. Sleep apnea is quite common in obese people, since the greater amount of fat in the neck can compress the airways, making breathing difficult. The development of asthma and respiratory failure in people with obesity is also common.
  • Cancer:the risk of various types of cancer increases in proportion to weight gain. Those who are obese have a greater chance of developing cancer. In women, the risk of breast, uterus and ovarian cancer is three times higher. In men, the risk is prostate cancer.

Regaining health

Obesity can actually worsen people’s health a lot and increase the risk of several diseases, many of them quite serious. The good news is that many of these risks can decrease dramatically with weight loss. Nor is it necessary to reach the ideal weight to see an improvement in health.

An initial weight loss of at least 5% of body weight can bring about improvements in the general condition of the obese and health risks. The loss may be slow, but starting the process will have many benefits.

By reducing weight, a person has a reduction in triglyceride and cholesterol levels, in addition to lowering blood pressure. There is also an increase in insulin sensitivity, which greatly reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Not to mention that weight reduction causes a decrease in the tension exerted on the ligaments and joints, causing a reduction in pain and swelling of limbs. The person starts to have less breathing difficulties and starts to sleep better.

All of this leads to greater well-being and disposition in general, in addition to reducing health risks. The important thing is to take the first step is to start losing weight, moving towards a better and healthier life.

Understand how obesity can deteriorate your health.

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