Common Health Risks Associated with Obesity
Easily the biggest problem plaguing Americans, young or old, is obesity. Hands down, obesity is the most common health problem facing Americans today. With the unhealthy McDonald’s being the uncontested king of the American restaurant world, and otherwise godsend technologies like the computer being able to do almost everything for us, Americans have fewer and fewer reasons to get up and move around. And healthier diets are hampered by most young people not having the money to burn on expensive vegetables and healthier foods. All the stars aligned for obesity to sweep America like a forest fire, and it needs to be reversed. There are more than enough researchers and groups working toward that goal, though, so this article has a different aim: to instruct on what happens when you become overweight or obese. If you are a man over 25, you probably worry about your figure a lot, so here are the biggest reasons you should be even more worried about becoming obese.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes isn’t necessarily life threatening, but it’s a change to your lifestyle that you definitely don’t want. And it is a change to your lifestyle, for while yes, there have been many cases of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but never showing any of the major symptoms, they are exceptions that prove the rule. Type 2 diabetes can last a few years or it can stretch across your entire life. The symptoms include blurred vision, increased thirst and urination, hunger, and fatigue. And if you have belonephobia, then you have another problem, because having type 2 diabetes drastically lowers the amount of insulin in your blood, which causes the aforementioned symptoms, so you need to make up the difference and mitigate the symptoms by injecting insulin into your body daily.
Even though your body has put on an insane amount of weight, your bones have mostly remained the same. They may expand somewhat to compensate, but not nearly enough to handle the amount of weight you’ve put on. This means that, though physical exercise is important to getting your weight back down to a reasonable level, your body may not be able to move as much as you need to under its own weight. This is why an obese man will have significantly more trouble even jogging for a decent distance compared to a normal person. In general, everything that was a cakewalk for you to do just a few years ago would now be a constant struggle.
The more fat you put on, the tougher it is for blood to run throughout the body, because the veins have more area to cover at one time. To compensate, the heart beats and pumps blood faster than before, and under normal circumstances this is fine. If need be, the heart will pump more blood to make your body move faster or even make you stronger via adrenaline. However, at a constant rate, it’s incredibly dangerous. The heart simply isn’t meant to pump that fast at a constant rate for long periods of time, which can lead to intense heart problems later in life, like heart diseases and strokes. You need to keep your body mass to a reasonable level in order to maintain proper health for your heart. It’s a powerful organ, but can easily prove a delicate one when put under too much stress for too long.
Certain cancer types
Along with all of the other health risks and problems that obesity brings with it, chief among them is the big one: cancer. Obesity has been linked by multiple studies to be a direct cause of certain forms of cancer. This includes breast cancer in women, colon and rectum cancer, esophagus cancer, kidney cancer, and pancreas cancer, with a smaller but no less dangerous increase of risk of other cancers like gallbladder, non-hodgkin lymphoma, and the more aggressive versions of prostate cancer. There are complications, of course (for women, obesity is linked to increased breast cancer risk after menopause, but not before, the reasons for which remain unknown) but the fact remains, we generally want to avoid cancer as much as we possibly can, so if you’d rather avoid any risk of cancer, try to stay in shape.
Another drawback to having all that body mass and fat growing on you is that laying down is going to bring with it a lot of troubles. Chief among them being a problem known as Sleep Apnea. This is a lung problem, referring to the weight of your own body pressing down on the lungs as you sleep. This causes your breathing to suddenly, and repeatedly stop and start, which can of course result in you getting no sleep at all. This loss of sleep, in turn, leads to its own assortment of health issues, including irritability and lowered immune system.
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis linked to the joints in your body, causing them pain and discomfort simply by moving. Most often, this condition is applied to the lower back, hands, knees, and hips. While age or injury are the most common causes, obesity has also been linked to osteoarthritis. This is due, much like sleep apnea, to the extra weight placed on your body by the accumulated fat. This weight eats away at your joints and the cartilage that surrounds them. Losing weight, obviously, would take this pressure off of your joints, and while it won’t cure your osteoarthritis if you already have it, if you don’t, it’s the best way to prevent it in your current circumstance.
Obesity being one of the main defining characteristics of the American public, as you can see, is a big problem. Obesity is unhealthy for you in so many ways, it’s hard to know where to begin, let alone end. If your BMI count is rising faster than it should, and you find yourself approaching obesity, don’t wait another minute. Confront whatever part of your lifestyle is doing this, and then alter it to help get your body back on track.