7 health risks associated with obesity

The major symptoms of obesity are excessive weight gain and the presence of large amounts of fatty tissue.  At what stage of life a person becomes obese can affect his or her ability to lose weight. In childhood, excess calories are converted into new fat cells (hyperplastic obesity), while excess calories consumed in adulthood only serve to expand existing fat cells (hypertrophic obesity).

Since dieting and exercise can only reduce the size of fat cells, not eliminate them, persons who were obese as children can have great difficulty losing weight, as they may have up to five times as many fat cells as someone who became overweight as an adult.

Health risks associated with obesity

1. Arthritis

Weight plays an important role in joint stress as being overweight puts stress on their joints, especially the weight-bearing joints, like the knees and the hips. That’s why people who are overweight are at greater risk of developing arthritis and other orthopedic problems, such as lower back pain.

The irony is that once a person has arthritis, the additional weight causes even more problems on already damaged joints. Read more

2. Hernias

Being overweight increases the strain and pressure on your abdominal muscles and makes them weaker and more prone to developing a hernia.  Over time, this additional weight contributes to a growth in the size of the hernia. Read more

3. Heartburn

Heartburn happens when your stomach acid flows back into your esophagus, or food pipe. This is attributed to excess belly fat causing pressure on your stomach. The increase in abdominal pressure makes stomach acid leakage or back flow more likely. Read more

4. Gallstones

The main function of the gallbladder is to store bile that helps your body absorb nutrients from the food that you eat. Researchers have found that people who have obesity may have higher levels of cholesterol in their bile, which can cause gallstones.

5. High blood pressure

Being overweight causes high blood pressure because the more you weigh, the more blood that needs to supply oxygen and nutrients to your body. This causes an increase in your blood pressure. Read more

6. Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common and serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops for 10 seconds or more during sleep. Excessive weight gain can cause fat to accumulate in the neck area, obstructing breathing due to the airway being blocked. Read more

7. Skin problems

Being overweight may cause skin problems due to several factors. This could arise from the bacterial breakdown of sweat or retained moisture and cellular material in thick folds of skin or from increased friction between folds. Your feet may also develop corns and calluses due to the increased weight, while the stretching of the skin may result in stretch marks.

Increased strain on the leg veins may cause fluid retention, leg swelling, rupture of superficial capillaries, varicose veins, dermatitis, and even ulcers. Read more


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