5 health risk of obesity


Obesity is generally caused by eating more calories than they burn through activity. This imbalance is the greatest contributor to weight gain.

Other causes of obesity include unhealthy diet, medical reasons and genetics.

Health risks of obesity

1. Type 2 Diabetes

Obesity is the major cause of Type 2 Diabetes. Body fat affects the ability of the body to use insulin, body cells’ loses sensitivity to respond to insulin – either slow or no longer responding, resulting in blood glucose not being able to regulate properly. Having high levels of glucose in your bloodstream will damage your arteries and increases your risk of heart and circulatory diseases.

2. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Obesity is a major cause of hypertension accounting for 65–78% of cases. Excess visceral and retroperitoneal fat may increase blood pressure by compressing the kidneys physically. Excess fat accumulation in and around the kidneys is associated with increased intrarenal pressures, impaired pressure natriuresis, and hypertension. About 3/4 of patients with high blood pressure have obesity. Hypertension raises the risk of other diseases such as heart disease, congestive heart failure (CHF), stroke, and kidney disease.

3. Heart and Circulatory Disease

Excess weight leads to fatty material building up in your arteries (blood vessels that carry blood to your organs). If the arteries that carry blood to your heart are damaged and clogged, it can cause a heart attack. If the arteries carry blood to your brain are clogged or damaged it can lead to a stroke or vascular dementia.

Bigger health risk comes from a type of fat called visceral fat which sits around our internal organs such as our heart and liver.

4. Cancer

Being overweight and obese increases the risk of getting 13 kinds of cancer, includes:-

  • Adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus
  • Breast (menopause women)
  • Colorectal
  • Uterus
  • Gallbladder
  • Upper stomach
  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Ovary
  • Pancreas
  • Thyroid
  • Meningioma (a type of brain cancer)
  • Multiple myeloma

Being overweight or having obesity doesn’t mean that someone will definitely get cancer. But it does mean that they are at an increased risk of getting cancer being overweight than if they kept a healthy weight.

5. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common joint condition that commonly affects the knee, hip, or back. Weighing more than you should put extra pressure on these joints and wears away the cartilage (tissue cushioning the joints) that protects them.

Losing weight can reduce stress on the knees, hips, and lower back and may improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Obesity affects every aspect of health, from shortening life and contributing to chronic conditions ie. diabetes and cardiovascular disease to interfering with sexual function, mood, and social interactions. Obesity isn’t necessarily a permanent condition. Diet, exercise and medications can help with weight loss.

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