Impact of Obesity on Your Body and Health

Common Health Dangers Associated with Obesity Being obese or overweight puts you at risk for premature death and many health dangers. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 1043 deaths registered in 2009 as a result of obesity and its associated disorders.

The possibility of the premature death increases with increased weight. People with a BMI greater than 30 have a 50-100% higher risk of death from diseases related to the condition compared to those with a healthy weight.

This article is going to review common diseases linked with overweight.

It will also analyze how weight loss can reduce the risk of premature death as well as enhance secondary health risks.

Click on a condition below to expand

  1. Diabetes

    Diabetes Most type 2 diabetes patients are obese. Type 2 diabetes influences how human body metabolizes sugar by either counterattacking or failing to produce adequate insulin.

    Weight loss, healthy diet, and exercise can help prevent and treat the health condition.

  2. Hypertension

    Hypertension and Heart Disease The occurrence of different types of heart ailments such as heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythm, chest pains and heart failure is common among overweight persons.

    Typically blood fat, coronary artery illness, and cholesterol levels are higher in obese persons. Additionally, hypertension is twice common in overweight persons.

    Increased high blood pressure can also lead to:

    • Blood in urine • Kidney failure/damage • Fatigue • Excessive sweating • Breath shortness • Confusion • Impaired vision Respiratory Disorders
  3. Heart Disease

    Heart disease kills about 20,000 people every year in the Australia. The National Heart Foundation of Australia considers obesity a major risk factor for heart disease. Large studies show that the risk for heart disease increases with obesity(5). People with severe obesity are at a higher risk for coronary artery disease. This means they have a higher risk of a heart attack.

    Obesity increases your risk of heart failure. Severe obesity is associated with irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). These arrhythmias can triple the risk of cardiac arrest. However, some excess weight can protect against dying from heart failure after the diagnosis is made(6).

  4. Respiratory Disorders

    People with obesity have reduced lung capacity. These people are at higher risk for respiratory infections. They are more likely to have asthma and other respiratory disorders. Asthma has been shown to be three to four times more common among people with obesity(7).

    More than half of those affected by obesity (around 50-60 percent) have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) In cases of severe obesity, this figure is around 90 percent(8). OSA is a very serious breathing disorder. OSA occurs when excess fat in the neck, throat, and tongue block air passageways during sleep. This blockage causes apnea, which means a person stops breathing for a time. A person with OSA may have hundreds of apnea episodes each night. Apnea episodes reduce the amount of oxygen in a person’s blood.

    OSA may lead to high blood pressure, pulmonary hypertension, and heart failure. OSA can cause sudden cardiac death and stroke. Because apnea episodes interrupt the normal sleep cycle, you may not reach restful sleep. This can lead to fatigue and drowsiness. If untreated, this drowsiness may raise your risk of motor vehicle accidents.

  5. Cancer

    In 2017, it is estimated that 134,174 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia. Obesity is believed to cause a significant number of cancer deaths per year. As body mass index (BMI) increases, so does your risk of cancer and death from cancer. These cancers include:

    • Endometrial cancer
    • Cervical cancer
    • Ovarian cancer
    • Postmenopausal breast cancer
    • Colorectal cancer
    • Oesophageal cancer
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Gallbladder cancer
    • Liver cancer
    • Kidney cancer
    • Thyroid cancer
    • Prostate cancer
    • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    • Multiple myeloma
    • Leukaemia

    For people with severe obesity, the death rate increases for all types of cancer. The death rate is 52 percent higher for men and 62 percent higher for women(9).

  6. Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke

    Obesity puts a strain on your whole circulatory system. This strain increases your risk for stroke. Obesity can lead to other stroke risk factors. Stroke risk factors include heart dis-ease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, lipid abnormalities, type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea(10).

  7. Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)

    Increased health risk of Cerebrovascular Disease and stroke Obesity is a fatal secondary risk factor for the entire circulation system.

    Overweight people have a 75% increased risk of dying of a stroke. Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries that cause arterial blood clots) is the most common cause of stroke. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) Obesity can be associated with increased risk of Gastroesophageal Reflux

    A disease that leads to intestinal secretions and stomach acids leaking into an esophagus. Heartburn, hoarseness, belching and throwing up food are some of the common symptoms of GORD. Bone/joint damage and accidents Overweight persons experience a higher risk for osteoarthritis (cartilage and bone within a joint breakdown) and other similar musculoskeletal health conditions such as gout, back pain, spinal ailments and disc herniation.

  8. Bone/Joint Damage and Accidents

    Obesity, in particular severe obesity, contributes to a number of bone and joint issues. These issues can increase the risk for accidents and personal injury. Bone and joint issues can include:

    • Joint diseases (osteoarthritis, gout)
    • Disc herniation
    • Spinal disorders
    • Back pain

    Pseudotumor cerebri, a condition associated with disorientation, headache, and visual impairment.

  9. Other Conditions

    Other life-threatening conditions include:

    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Kidney Disease
    • Gallbladder
    • Low quality of life
    • Septicemia
    • Liver disease Emotional Effects Apart from the physical impacts of obesity, emotional/mental effects should also be addressed.

    In most cases, emotional effects are more difficult to deal with compared to the physical impacts.

    Individuals with obese have low self-esteem, are shy and have few friends. This affects both their personal and social life. In some cases, this can cause psychological issues and suicide when the patient fails to receive proper support system.

    Health Improvements after weight loss.

    The good news is that losing as little as ten to twenty pounds can reduce chances of developing chronic ailments associated with obesity such as stroke and cardiovascular diseases.

    This is because reducing weight enhances the functions of the heart, blood cholesterol level, triglycerides, and blood pressure.

Obesity can have a dramatic impact on your body. The conditions related to obesity can be detrimental to your health. However, many of these complications can be avoided or cured through weight loss.
  1. References
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    3. Wilson, Peter WF, et al. Overweight and obesity as determinants of cardio-vascular risk: the Framingham experience. Arch Int Med 2002;162(16): 1867-1872.
    4. Landsberg, Lewis, et al. “Obesity‐related hypertension: Pathogenesis, cardi-ovascular risk, and treatment—A position paper of the The Obesity Society and the Ameri-can Society of Hypertension.” Obesity 21.1 (2013): 8-24.
    5. Jensen, Michael D., et al. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline for the Manage-ment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. J Am Coll Cardiol (2013).
    6. Curtis, Jeptha P., et al. “The obesity paradox: body mass index and out-comes in patients with heart failure.” Archives of internal medicine 165.1 (2005): 55-61.
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    8. Camargo, Carlos A., et al. “Prospective study of body mass index, weight change, and risk of adult-onset asthma in women.” Archives of Internal Medicine 159.21 (1999): 2582-2588.
    9. Calle, Eugenia E., et al. “Overweight, obesity, and mortality from cancer in a prospectively studied cohort of US adults.” New England Journal of Medicine 348.17 (2003): 1625-1638.
    10. Chen, Hsin-Jen, et al. “Influence of metabolic syndrome and general obesity on the risk of ischemic stroke.” Stroke 37.4 (2006): 1060-1064.
    11. Hampel, Howard, Neena S. Abraham, and Hashem B. El-Serag. “Meta-analysis: obesity and the risk for gastroesophageal reflux disease and its complications.” Annals of Internal Medicine 143.3 (2005): 199-211.
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    13. Onyike, Chiadi U., et al. “Is obesity associated with major depression? Re-sults from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” American journal of epidemiology 158.12 (2003): 1139-1147.