Obesity and It's Side - Effects

  • 03-May-2019   
  • | Dr. Sundus Shafat Ahmad
  • | 187
  • Average Reading Time: 2 minutes and 30 seconds   

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more Americans live with life-threatening obesity than with breast cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and HIV combined. Additionally, nearly 80% of adults and about a third of children today meet the definition of clinically obese plus in 2016 alone there were over 340 million children and youngsters aged between 5-19 who were found to overweight or obese including a total of 41 million children under the age of 5 with the same condition.

Obesity is defined as the abnormal and excessive fat accumulation that leaves adverse effects on a someone’s health and present major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer which can decrease life expectancy and sometimes leads to death.

The most widely used method for measuring excess adipose tissue or body fat is with Body mass index or BMI, which is a calculation of a person’s height and overall weight. If your BMI ranges between 25 and 29.9, you are considered as overweight, and a person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally clinically obese.

While there are many life-threatening diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancers, a vast percentage of people still take too lightly this serious medical condition that not only adults but also children are facing.

Obesity is influenced by many factors but has a strong correlation with genetics therefore, you are more likely to have a higher risk of getting it if you have a family history of being overweight. Poor diet, living a sedentary life, lack of exercise, medications such as antidepressants as well as medical conditions such as hypothyroidism may cause excessive weight gain. Also, some people find comfort in food when they are experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, or chronic pain, which can lead to overeating and weight gain.

Effects of Obesity in Health

Obesity can make you more susceptible to developing many serious diseases that can lead to a decreased quality of health and life. A BMI of 25 and above is a significant risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as;

  • High Blood Pressure – A fatty plaque build-up in the arteries makes the heart to work harder consequently a rise in blood pressure
  • Cancer - Obese men are at higher risk of developing colon and prostate cancer while overweight women have increased the risk of breast, uterus, gallbladder, cervix, ovary, and colon cancers
  • Type 2 Diabetes - Obese individuals have a greater risk of developing type 2, and if left unaddressed can lead to, kidney disease, stroke, blindness, heart diseases even result in premature death
  • Musculoskeletal disorders – Most notably osteoarthritis, which is a highly disabling degenerative disease that affects the joints of the knee, hip, and lower back. Being overweight places undue pressure on these joints and wears away the cartilage to result in severe pain and a decreased range of motion. Obesity also leads to an enlarged gallbladder, stroke, depression, including a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea.

A Clinical Microbiologist by profession, Sundus is an avid reader, full time people person, always looking to make the most of life, the 'healthy' way.

Dr. Sundus Shafat Ahmad
MBBS (DU), MD (RGUHS)