The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has put out a blunt note on its website. It says that 33.8% of US adults and 17% of children and adolescents aged between 2-19 years are obese. It adds that there has been a dramatic increase in obesity during the last 20 years. These are alarming figures but there's more hurt to come. Experts are forecasting that by the year 2048 all Americans will either be overweight or obese.
Below Are Examples of How Obesity Affects the Body
1. Coronary heart disease: Excess body fat causes plaque to build up in the coronary arteries. This plaque is composed of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances. When plaque builds up, it reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This can cause a heart attack. The risk of coronary heart disease increases with the volume of body fat. Obesity is also known to cause heart failure.
2. Stroke: Plaque buildup can split and form a blood clot. If this ruptured clot travels and comes close to the brain, then it can block the supply of oxygen, causing a stroke. More body fat directly increases the risk of getting a stroke. Researchers have conducted a study that has confirmed the link between excess body fat and stroke.
3. Cancer: Excess body fat can cause cancer as well. Excess fat increases the estrogen levels in the blood, which in turn increases the risk of cancers of the female reproductive system. It causes Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which increases the risk of esophagus cancer. Fat enhances insulin levels, which can cause cancerous cells to multiply.
4. Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is an extremely painful and degenerative joint disease that affects the knees, hips and the lower back. It wears down the tissues that protect joints and its main cause is being overweight. Being overweight increases the pressure on joints and that could lead to osteoarthritis or further deteriorate it, if it already exists.
5. Sleep Apnea: If fat accumulates around the neck, it narrows the airway, thereby making it tough to breathe properly while sleeping, which leads to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that does not allow you to breathe properly during sleep. It keeps you awake at nights, thereby reducing your productivity and impacting your normal body functions.
6. Reproductive issues: Being overweight can cause an irregular menstrual cycle and infertility in women. All health programs should emphasize weight loss and exercise for overweight women. This will improve menstrual regularity, reduce infertility, and prepare women for a less hazardous pregnancy. (1)
These are just some out of many examples of how obesity affects the body. Other things beside your body gets affected, like your psyche if you become self-conscious and have low self-esteem. Your social life can suffer and you can become depressed. The mind, body, and soul are connected. If one is out of whack, the others will suffer. So make sure you eat right and exercise to avoid the effects that obesity.
(1) Obesity and Reproductive Disorders: The Role of Practical Lifestyle Changes by Robert J. Norman, MD