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Promoting health and well-being
In some cases, being slightly overweight is not an issue as it may actually increase your
life span. However, being overweight and more so obese can put you at an increased risk
for up to thirty medical conditions, some deadly
Being overweight can cause insulin resistance, which leads to Type II Diabetes. A diet
high in fat and lack of exercise causes cardiovascular disease and congestive heart
failure. Excess weight can cause sleep apnea and respiratory illnesses. Many top
scientists believe the increase of average weight directly corresponds to the increase of
cancer cases, including kidney, breast, colon and prostate cancers.
Being overweight or obese puts an individual at an increased risk of developing many
health conditions. They include gallbladder disease, heart disease, hypertension (high
blood pressure), dyslipidemia (high cholesterol), osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, stroke,
sleep apnea, and even cancer.
Arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, is especially common among the
overweight and obese. But cardiovascular disease is even more commonly caused by
overweight and obesity. The American Heart Association recently dubbed obesity as a
leading cause of heart attacks.
Heart Disease and Stroke Heart disease and stroke are
the leading causes of death and disability for both men and
women in the United States. Overweight people are more
likely to have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for
heart disease and stroke, than people who are not
overweight. Very high blood levels of cholesterol and
triglycerides (blood fats) can also lead to heart disease and
often are linked to being overweight. Being overweight also
contributes to angina (chest pain caused by decreased
oxygen to the heart) and sudden death from heart disease
or stroke without any signs or symptoms.
The good news is that losing a small amount of weight can
reduce your chances of developing heart disease or a
stroke. Reducing your weight by 10 percent can decrease
your chance of developing heart disease by improving how
your heart works,
Noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes) is the most common type of
diabetes in the United States. Type 2 diabetes reduces your body's ability to control your
blood sugar. It is a major cause of early death, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and
blindness. Overweight people are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as people
who are not overweight. You can reduce your risk of developing this type of diabetes by
losing weight and by increasing your physical activity.
If you have type 2 diabetes, losing weight and becoming more physically active can help
control your blood sugar levels. If you use medicine to control your blood sugar, weight
loss and physical activity may make it possible for your doctor to decrease the amount of
medication you need.
There are more surprising effects of being overweight, too; some are more minor than
others. For instance, did you know that you are more likely to develop carpal tunnel
syndrome if you have a severe weight problem? In fact, AOA (American Obesity
Association) found that 70% of carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers were overweight!
Daytime sleepiness is also something that those who are overweight tend to endure which
can put many lives at risk when they drive.
High Blood Pressure: When you have excess body fat, your body saves sodium. When your body holds
sodium, blood mass develops and blood pressure rises. High blood pressure causes your heart to work
harder, which is rickety for the heart.
Diabetes: Obesity is the leading cause of type 2 diabetes. Excess fat makes your body opposing to insulin.
When your body is opposing to insulin, your cells can’t get the efficacy they need.
Stroke Abnormal blood fats: A diet high in saturated fats boosts the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Osteoarthritis: Excess weight adds pressure to joints and wears away at the cartilage that maintains them.
Sleep apnea: The more overweight a person is, the greater more overbearing the sleep apnea will be.
Cancer: Men and women who are overweight have a higher risk of developing many different kinds of
Gallstones: Gallstones are more customary in people who are overweight. The connection between
gallstones and weight is ambiguous.
Weak Pelvic Muscles Physical Discomfort: As fat accumulates, it crowds the space occupied by your
organs. People who are overweight may have difficulty breathing, walking or sitting
Other effects on health include gout, an impaired immune system, respiratory problems,
difficulty healing from wounds, reproductive disorders that cause infertility, liver disease,
back pain, gynecological complications, pancreatitis, and incontinence. Studies have even
found that an obese mother is at an increased risk of her newborn having birth defects
like NTD (neural tube defects). Research here is undeveloped however.
Perhaps the most alarming health effect is cancer. Obese and even overweight persons
are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer of the breast, esophagus, colon, uterus, and
And what’s most frustrating about all of this is it doesn’t even encompass all the risks of
being overweight or obese
Fortunately, obesity is entirely treatable. Some individuals may benefit from medications
and surgeries while others may just need to make a few small lifestyle changes to enjoy a
healthier weight.
But as these health risks have increased over just two decades, they certainly can be
managed in the same amount of time! It’s simply a matter of government and individual
responsibility, which can be promoted through public policy and educational programs.
And as the word gets out about the direct and indirect health consequences from being
obese, people will certainly start to take action.
: Making physical activity a part of your daily life is an important way to help control your
weight and lower your risk for health problems. Spend less time in activities that use little
energy like watching television and playing video games and more time in physical
activities. Try to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day on most days of the
week. The activity does not have to be done all at once. It can be done in short spurts --10
minutes here, 20 minutes there--as long as it adds up to 30 minutes a day. Simple ways to
become more physically active include walking to the store or taking the stairs instead of
the elevator. See WIN's fact sheet Physical Activity and Weight Control for more