What are the Health Risks of Obesity?

a stout person

According to CDC, the obesity prevalence in the US from 2017 to 2020 was 41.9%. And from 2000 through 2020, the prevalence of obesity in the country increased from 30.5% to 41.9%. Simultaneously, the prevalence of extreme obesity got higher from 4.7% to 9.2%.

This data only shows that obesity is becoming a massive problem in America. If the current trend continues, by 2030, more than half of Americans will be obese.

Understanding obesity

But what exactly is obesity? Obesity is having an excess amount of body fat. To measure if someone is obese, doctors usually use the body mass index (BMI). BMI is a calculation that uses height and weight. An adult with a BMI of 30 or more is obese. Meanwhile, an adult with a BMI of 40 or more is severely obese, also called extreme obesity.

People become obese for various reasons. It can be due to genetics, lack of sleep, or having an unhealthy diet. Medical conditions can also contribute to this problem, including Cushing’s syndrome and hypothyroidism.

Furthermore, some obese people develop this condition when they consume more calories than they burn. The extra calories are then stored as fat. As a result, they gain an excessive amount of weight. This can be prevented by maintaining a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

Obesity health risks

Severely obese people are at higher risk for developing many chronic (long-lasting) conditions and diseases, including:

Arthritis

Obesity is a significant risk factor for developing arthritis. In fact, obesity is thought to contribute to arthritis in two ways. First, excess weight puts additional stress on joints, causing inflammation and pain. Second, obesity increases the levels of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body, which can further damage joints. Treatment for arthritis typically focuses on relieving pain and reducing inflammation.

However, treatment may also need to address weight management if obesity contributes to the condition. Losing even a small amount of weight can reduce joint stress and help ease symptoms. As such, weight loss should be considered an essential part of treatment for obese individuals with arthritis.

Heart disease

elderly man with hear problem

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is a significant risk factor for heart disease. People who are obese are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. These conditions can damage the heart, arteries, and blood vessels, leading to a heart attack or stroke. In addition, obesity itself can damage the heart muscle, making it less able to pump blood effectively.

As a result, people who are obese are at a significantly higher risk of developing heart disease. But there are several ways to reduce the risk of heart disease by losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. By making simple changes such as eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, people who are obese can greatly reduce their risk of developing heart disease.

Stroke

Obesity has become a major health epidemic in the United States. Not only does it put people at risk for heart disease and diabetes, but it can also lead to stroke. In fact, obesity is one of the most critical risk factors for stroke. Obesity increases the likelihood of high blood pressure, a significant risk factor for stroke. In addition, obesity can also lead to an abnormal buildup of fat in the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can block blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.

Finally, obesity can also cause inflammation throughout the body, linked to an increased risk of stroke. If you are obese, it is vital to lose weight and reduce your risk of stroke. Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you reach a healthy weight and reduce your risk of stroke.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure is a condition in which the force of blood against vessel walls is too high. The heart must work harder to pump blood, which can damage the vessels and the heart itself. Obesity is one of the main risk factors for high blood pressure. When someone is obese, they have an excessive amount of body fat. This extra weight strains the heart and blood vessels and makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood efficiently.

Additionally, obese individuals are more likely to have other conditions contributing to high blood pressure, such as diabetes and sleep apnea. As a result, obesity is a major cause of high blood pressure. Treatment for high blood pressure often includes lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and medication. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. By taking steps to control their weight, obese individuals can help to lower their risk of developing high blood pressure.

The bottom line

These are just some of the many health risks associated with obesity. Obesity can lead to a wide range of severe health problems affecting your quality of life. The best way to overcome these risks is to maintain a healthy weight and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

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