What can potentially give you the blues, cause dementia, and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke?
It has the potential to saddle you with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon cancer, breast cancer and reduce your testosterone level.
Plus, it can chip away at your looks, how you feel and your confidence level. It will erode your quality of life and shorten your lifespan.
If that’s not bad enough, it’s costing the world money…lots of money. According to the McKinsey Report, its estimated economic impact is $663 billion in the United States and $2 trillion worldwide.
In other words, it’s an expensive, deadly killer. If you haven’t guessed already, I’m referring to being overweight or obesity.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 74% of American men and 64% of American women are overweight or obese.
Today, I’m going to look at the effect it has on your body and overall well-being. Being obese can potentially result in…
- Coronary Heart Disease (CDC) – When you’re overweight or obese a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside your arteries. This plaque buildup can narrow or block your arteries or if the area ruptures it can cause a blood clot. You could also get to the point where, because your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs, you experience heart failure.
- Stroke – A heart attack occurs when your heart doesn’t get enough blood. A stroke occurs when there’s a blockage of blood to your brain. If the plaque buildup causes a clot near your brain, you could have a stroke.
- High Blood Pressure – The excess fat in your abdominal area causes your arteries to become stiff and thick. When the blood vessels get stiff it’s more difficult for your blood to flow which leads to high blood pressure. Plus when it’s difficult for the blood in your body to move around it increases your adrenaline level which can also contribute to high blood pressure.
- Diabetes – According to a report in the journal of Science, when you’re overweight the membranous network (called endoplasmic reticulum) inside your individual cells becomes stressed. When this happens, your cells can no longer process all the nutrients. As a result, an alarm goes off, telling your cells to dampen down the insulin receptors. This results in insulin resistance and leads to consistently high concentrations of sugar glucose in your blood which could potentially result in type 2 diabetes.
- Gallbladder disease – Obesity increases the amount of cholesterol in bile which can lead to the formation of gallstones.
- Osteoarthritis – Being overweight causes osteoarthritis because it puts extra stress on your joints. Plus a poor diet causes inflammation which is associated with joint pain.
- Gout – Uric Acid is a waste product created naturally from certain foods you eat. If you produce too much and your kidneys can’t eliminate it efficiently (through your urine) problems arise such as gout. Being overweight increases the level of uric acid in your blood.
- Breathing Problems – When you have extra weight in the chest and abdomen, the muscles that control your breathing have to work harder. Plus fat tissue around your organs hampers the movement of the diaphragm which reduces lung expansion.
- Dementia – Dementia is when your memory and thinking skills are reduced. The most common form is Alzheimer’s disease. A 2008 study by John Hopkins University found that the risk of dementia went up by 42 percent with adults who are obese. The risk of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia went up by 80 percent and 73 percent respectively. (Vascular dementia is when one experiences memory loss, difficulties thinking, solving problems and speaking due to problems with the blood supply to their brain).
- Depression – Studies have found that you’re 25% more likely to suffer from depression if you’re obese. Plus studies have revealed a link between obesity and depression in adolescents.
- Lack of a positive Self-Image – This is kind of like wondering what came first, the chicken or the egg. Lack of a positive self-image can lead to obesity and vice versa.
- A lower testosterone level – A study of 2,100 men aged 45 and older found that their odds of having a low testosterone level were 2.4 times higher if they were obese. Besides affecting sexual performance, low testosterone can result in weight gain, a lack of energy, depression, and concentration problems.
If you’re currently overweight or obese, this article isn’t meant to shock you. It’s a merely of a way of motivating you to take action. The stakes are just too high. If you’re obese (or have family members who are) it’s never too late to improve your quality of life and lay the foundation for a healthy and happy future.