A health care professional can readily tell if you are obese, overweight, or healthy by simply measuring your Body Mass Index, or BMI, in short. It effectively determines your weight in proportion to your height and the further it goes outside the scope of the standard range, the greater your odds are of developing a host of critical health issues from obesity and overweight.
Accomplishing and sustaining a healthy weight is something that cannot be achieved overnight and might turn out to be a challenging task for obese and overweight individuals in the long-term. Ensuring a healthy weight through appropriate means or at least preventing yourself from gaining more weight can help overweight people reduce the likelihood of developing specific medical conditions.
Obesity is on the verge of becoming a national epidemic in the USA and is associated with several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The grave medical condition is responsible for an astounding 18% mortality rate in the age group of 40 to 85 among American population, as observed by a health research study carried out in 2013, questioning the deeply-rooted, prevailing notion of the medical and scientific community that a mere 5 in every 100 deaths in the country are related to obesity. The new finding essentially suggests that it is as fatal as cigarette smoking, when it comes to the discussion of public health hazards, as the particular way of nicotine consumption can be linked to 20 in every 100 deaths in the USA and is acknowledged as the major preventable cause of mortality in the country.
Almost 2 in every 5 American adults were diagnosed with obesity in 2015-16, which is a significant increase from 34% in 2007-08, and its impact became more profound with a steep increase from 5.7% to 7.7% during that time. While not a single state reported an obesity rate of over 15% in 1985, as many as 5 of them registered rates higher than 35% for the year 2016.
Obesity and overweight are often associated with emotional health issues like depression. People who are either obese or overweight may also experience weight bias as well as face the stigma of the medical care services providers and others, which, in turn, can result in guilt, feeling of rejection, or shame, further worsening the prevailing problems concerning one’s mental well-being.
The major diseases and health complications caused by obesity and overweight are illustrated below in brief.
I. TYPE 2 DIABETES
When the blood glucose concentration becomes abnormally high on a permanent basis, the particular medical condition is termed as type 2 diabetes. About 4 in every 5 individuals with the said form of diabetes are known to be either obese or overweight. High blood sugar levels can manifest a large number of medical conditions, such as stroke, heart conditions, eye issues, neuropathic damage, eye problems, and other health issues.
Allowing yourself to engage in periodic physical activities and reducing 5% to 7% of your weight may prevent or postpone type 2 diabetes onset in the event you belong to the risk group for the particular disease.
II. HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
When the blood passes through the blood vessels in your body with significantly more force, the particular medical condition is known as hypertension, or more commonly, high blood pressure. It can cause an alarmingly great level of damage to your blood vessels, strain your heart, and help increase the odds of stroke, kidney disease, heart attack, and even death.
III. HEART DISEASE
The umbrella term heart disease is routinely used to indicate a wide and diverse gamut of medical conditions that can affect the overall well-being of the organ. If you are diagnosed with heart disease, you are at a greater risk of having heart failure, sudden cardiac death, angina, heart attack, or a heart rhythm that is not considered normal. Elevated fat levels in your bloodstream, high blood sugar concentrations, and high blood pressure may increase the odds of heart disease. Blood lipids or blood fats necessarily refer to triglycerides, High-Density Lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol, and Low-Density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol. Reducing 5% to 10% of your body mass is likely to help you mitigate the risks of developing heart disease and can help improve your blood flow, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
If there is a blockage or an incidence of blood vessel rupture in your neck or brain, it causes the blood supply in your brain to restrain all on a sudden, and the particular medical condition is known as stroke. A stroke can cause reversible or irreversible damage to your brain, resulting in partial or complete paralysis and thus, making you incapable of speaking or initiating body movements. To suffice, hypertension is recognized as being the vital cause of strokes.
V. SLEEP APNEA
Sleep apnea is a medical condition when an individual does not breathe frequently and is pretty much common in a large number of people around the globe. One may also cease breathing altogether for small intervals. If the said sleeping disorder continues to remain undiagnosed and untreated, it may increase the odds of other critical health issues, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Sudarsana Chakrabarti is a primary and urgent care doctor in Homer Glen, Illinois. She is actively engaged in health blogging over a decade and has penned umpteen blogs, articles, and guest posts concerning numerous medical complications and disease prevention/treatment, such as diabetes and blood glucose (sugar) monitoring, migraine and headaches, allergy testing, hypertension (high blood pressure), cough, rash, and sore throat, to name a few.