Unfortunately, obesity has become a common condition in North America, and for those carrying around some extra pounds, losing weight becomes a lot more than just vanity. If overweight may increase the probabilities of suffering about 50 health problems, losing weight may help reduce the risk of developing some of them.

Among the most common health problems related to overweight, which by the way, are America’s leading causes of death are: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Others, not as life-threatening but yet frequently linked are diseases like gout and gallstones. Here we’d have to add another one: depression.

Overweight and Your Health

Despite all the health risks, the number of people who suffer with obesity is quickly increasing. Therefore, it’s important that we are all well informed about the major health problems commonly related to obesity and overweight and thus, take the proper steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

  • High Cholesterol: Cholesterol are lipids (a kind of fat) needed by our body and which travels through the bloodstream. When it is too high, it can damage our health. High-cholesterol levels may be inherited, but they can also be the consequence of unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary life. In general, it can be reversed if we improve our diet and add some exercise.
  • Hypertension: Like high cholesterol, high blood pressure can eventually lead to heart disease. The worrisome part of this disease is that some people do not feel any symptoms. Therefore, it’s important to measure our blood pressure regularly, and thus prevent a heart attack or a stroke.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Also known as Diabetes Mellitus, affects the way our body metabolizes sugar (glucose) increasing its levels by either resisting or not producing enough insulin. Though its causes have not been completely established, overweight and a sedentary lifestyle are known contributors. In fact, according to Harvard’s researchers, obesity increases the risk of diabetes 20 times. Fortunately, a healthy diet and enough exercise can help us prevent and deal with it.
  • Cancer: Diverse studies have associated obesity with some types of cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 30% global cancer can be linked to overweight, bad habits, and lack of physical activity.
  • Breathing Disorders: When we are overweighed, some fatal breathing conditions such as asthma and sleep apnea (stop breathing while sleeping) can be provoked or exacerbated.
  • Osteoarthritis: Causes pain and stiffness to our joints, mainly to knees, hips, and lower back. Though frequently related to age and injury, our extra pounds may wear out your joints, even when we’re still young and have never been injured.

The Good News!

Not every person with obesity, or a few extra pounds, develops these health problems however, carrying extra weight can affect our health and can shorten our life expectancy.

The good news is that when we lose weight and increase our physical activity we can revert or even overcome some of these conditions. In future blogs, we’ll give a closer look each of these health problems and will give you some tips to improve your health despite them. Remember, this is your best moment! #DecideItNow.