Every year the numbers of overweight and obese people in the United States is on the rise. With all of the diet and weight loss programs that are available to people, one would think that these statistics would reflect very different results. It seems that society as a whole is losing the battle of the bulge so to speak. So why is this happening and why should we be so concerned about this?
Many reasons have been given for the rise in the numbers of obese people today. The biggest factors are sedentary lifestyle and eating too much processed food. Diets don’t seem to work that often because so many people want a quick fix. Weight loss is an ongoing problem which usually requires long term solutions that most people are not willing to adhere to for the duration.
So what exactly are the risks of obesity and why is it so important to lose weight if you are obese? First, obesity can increase a person’s risk factors of several chronic diseases that can be life threatening. These will be discussed individually below. Second research has shown consistently that people who are thin live longer than their overweight counterparts.
Medically, people who are obese are much more likely to have type II diabetes which can have some very serious ramifications on the body. Children now who are obese are getting type II diabetes where in the past physician’s only saw this in middle aged adults. The longer a person has diabetes, the more they are at risk of having issues due to the diabetes. Complications of diabetes can include peripheral neuropathy of the lower limbs. This can include problems with circulation and cause severe pain in extremities as well. Diabetic retinopathy of the eye is another complication of diabetes which can lead to partial blindness. Kidney disease leading to kidney failure is another complication of diabetes.
Obese people are also at a much higher risk of having issues with high blood pressure which can lead to a stroke. They are much more likely to have circulatory problems, heart attacks, heart disease, even heart failure. The added weight causes an additional strain on the heart which makes it work much harder to pump blood to the body. This has even caused premature death. Being obese causes people to have increased risk of gall bladder disease and the formation of gall stones. Obese people put pressure on the lungs to oxygenate the body as well and very frequently have respiratory issues along with other health problems.
Other health conditions such as arthritis and degenerative joint disease can be aggravated when a person is overweight. The extra weight puts additional stress and strain on already inflamed joints causing even more issues.
Therefore with all the issues that have been brought up with being obese it should be very evident why it is important for a person who is overweight or obese to lose weight. By losing weight, a person can lower blood pressure readings, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels amongst other lab values which are abnormally high due to being overweight.
Losing weight now reduces chances of developing diabetes, respiratory problems, arthritis, circulatory disease, and heart disease in the future. Any of these conditions can cause complications that can severely reduce a person’s life span.
Therefore it stands to reason that by losing weight now and continuing a healthy lifestyle for the future would greatly increase a person’s chance at a long and healthy life. The ability to be able to live a healthy life without the risk of disease and death should be a very good incentive for anyone who needs to lose weight to do so.