Because we live in a society obsessed with looks, women sometimes want to lose weight in order to look better. What we often forget is that there are more important reasons to want to lose weight – there can be serious health implications of being overweight.
In fact, obesity is regarded as a major medical condition. If you are overweight or obese, you may be at risk for the following diseases: Type II diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, certain types of cancer, sleep apnoea, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome, gallbladder disease, fatty liver disease and other pregnancy complications. A detailed explanation of some of the major diseases is presented below.
Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar levels remain abnormally high. These abnormal blood sugar levels can be a major cause of coronary heart disease, stroke, amputation, blindness and kidney disease. Diabetes is one of the top five major causes of death in the United States.
More than 85 percent of people with diabetes are overweight. Scientists are not sure why overweight people are more prone to developing diabetes, but they believe the cause lies in the changing cell structure of overweight people.
Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke
Coronary heart disease is a situation where the blood circulation and heart muscles do not function normally. Often, the heart arteries become hard and narrow. People suffering from coronary heart disease are prone to heart attacks, congestive heart failure, angina or other heart abnormalities. They may also suffer from strokes. During a stroke, blood and oxygen cannot flow to the brain, which leads to paralysis or death.
People who are overweight are more likely to develop high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. These are both factors that increase the chances of heart disease and stroke. Losing even a little weight can drastically reduce your chances of being afflicted with heart disease.
The metabolic syndrome is a group of high-risk factors for coronary heart disease and diabetes. A woman has metabolic syndrome if she has three or more of these factors:
- A large waistline, measuring more than 35 inches
- A triglyceride level of over 150mg/dL
- Low level of HDL cholesterol, below 50 mg/dL
- High blood pressure
- High fasting blood glucose or sugar levels.
Metabolic syndrome is linked to obesity, especially abdominal obesity. Being physically active can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Weight loss can prevent the onset of metabolic syndrome.
Cancer happens when cells in one part of the body, such as the kidney, grow abnormally or increase at an uncontrollable rate. These cancerous cells can spread to other parts of the body as well.
Being overweight can increase the chances of developing several types of cancers. Obesity is also linked with uterine and postmenopausal breast cancer among women.
Scientists are unsure as to how weight gain increases the chances of cancer. However, they hypothesise that fat cells contain hormones which lead to an increase in cancerous activities or abnormal cell growth. Reducing your weight can reduce the risk of several types of cancers including cancers of the uterine, breast, colon, kidney and oesophagus.
As you can see, being overweight or obese can have serious health implications. However, the good news is that these health risks can be reduced simply by being more active and losing weight.
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