Health Risks of Being Overweight

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Balancing a job with household chores and then handling social pressure on top can get very stressful. And what better way to relieve stress than a warm, cheesy pepperoni pizza with a sweet, fuzzy drink.

Fast food outlets are growing exponentially all over the city. People from all walks of life indulge in these cheap but satisfying treats. Unfortunately, the gym industry doesn’t have the same luck. An average person has time to gulp down a satisfying meal of burger and fries, but no time for a brisk walk or some push-ups.

The result is obvious. Obesity is on the rise, in both children and adults, the results of which are detrimental in a multitude of ways. Some of the health risk of being overweight are listed below:

1.      Acceleration of Chronic Diseases

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Chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and raised cholesterol are serious conditions. They can prove fatal if not controlled through regular monitoring and medications. It is an established fact that people who are obese are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, as the body is not able to produce the required insulin. In the same way, vascular resistance increases with obesity causing high blood pressure. Both of these conditions increase the risk of heart diseases and strokes, consequently decreasing life expectancy in general.

2.      Damage to Joints and Bones

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Our bones are created to support the body. But when the fat layers increase disproportionately, the bones start wearing out and the cartilage starts breaking down, resulting in osteoarthritis. This problem arises slowly as joint pain and stiffness, mainly in weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees. However, it has long term consequences with surgery being the last resort.

3.      Additional Pressure on Lungs

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Just like the bones, even our lungs have been created in proportion to our body size. A drastic increase in weight, makes it difficult for the lungs to function, leaving the person breathless after mild exertion. Another common problem for overweight people is sleep apnea. In this disease the patient has difficulty breathing when asleep; as the excess soft tissues block the upper airways.

4.      Deterioration in Life Quality

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The added weight makes a person slow and sluggish, giving rise to a vicious cycle of a more sedentary life style and lesser outdoor activities. Besides the breathlessness, joint pain, and chronic diseases, the social stigma of being fat is enough to demotivate anyone. This phenomenon is more pronounced in children and teenagers who fall victim to bullying due to their weight. Despite efforts, many overweight individuals are not able to reach their body weight targets, often resulting in clinical depression or anxiety.

5.      Aggravation of Other Diseases

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Research shows that obesity plays a major role in the pathophysiology of many other diseases ranging from gall stones to breast cancer. There is also evidence to support that people who develop obesity in childhood have more serious health related problems than those who gain weight as adults.

Although we all enjoy eating our favorite food, no one enjoys being overweight. Obese individuals spend a lot of time and effort trying to lose weight through diets, workouts and even medications, but the process is often frustrating with no guarantee of success.

The bottom line is that no one becomes obese overnight. Monitoring your BMI (Body Mass Index) and making healthy lifestyle choices is the easiest way to control the problem in time. Keep in mind, that it’s not just about social image but the long-term health risks of being obese that are a bigger danger to our physical and mental well-being.

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