Being overweight or obese can make you more prone to various health issues such as diabetes, heart illness and specific cancers. Being overweight as a result of pregnancy may trigger temporary or long-standing health complications to the mother and the baby.
You will learn more about the relationship between being overweight and various health complications from this fact sheet. You will also discover how to get and maintain a normal weight and why you should do so.
How can find out if have excess weight?
Increasing little weight occasionally may not be perceived as problematic but this weight can eventually accumulate to become too much weight. Knowing your body mass index as well as the size of your waist can help you determine if your weight can make you more prone to having health issues.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI uses individual's weight and height to compare and establish whether you are either normal-weight, overweight, or obese. It is one way to tell whether you are at a normal weight, are overweight, or have obesity.
• Normal-weight people have a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9
• Overweight people have a BMI of 25 to 29.9
• An obese person has a BMI equal to or more than of 30
Size of the waist
It is paramount to know about the size of your waist (in inches). You are more susceptible to obesity development if you have a lot of fat around your waist. You have high chances of suffering from obesity-related illnesses if you are a woman with a waist size exceeding 35 inches or if you are a man and have a waist size beyond 40 inches.
The following are some of the fatal results of obesity:
Type2 diabetes is an illness which is characterized by abnormally high blood sugar. The disease is the main cause of heart illness, kidney illness, stroke, amputation, and sightlessness. In 2009, diabetes was ranked seventh prominent cause of fatalities in the U.S.
Type 2 diabetes is the most prominent diabetes type, which is majorly influenced by family history as well as genes. Inactivity, low-quality diet, and too much weight around the waist are other factors that increase the chances of diabetes development. In the US, black people, Latinos and American Indians suffer more from type 2 diabetes than their white counterparts.
- Relationship between diabetes and being overweight
Around eight out of ten type 2 diabetes patients also have obesity or are overweight. There’s no clear reason why overweight people have higher chances of developing this illness. One of the possible reasons is that being overweight triggers cells’ variations, enabling them resist insulin hormone. Insulin transports sugar to the body cells from the blood. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, the body cells can’t take up blood sugar, consequently causing high blood sugar. Besides, insulin-producing cells have to work excessively to regulate blood sugar. In addition, the cells that produce insulin must work extra hard to try to keep blood sugar normal. This may lead to gradual failure of these cells.
- The importance of weight loss
Weight loss is important to people who are prone to type 2 diabetes development since it helps in preventing or delaying the genesis of the disease. Apart from losing weight, these people should be more physically active. The preventive measures help in reducing the amount of diabetes drug usage.
Blood pressure is the intensity of force exerted by the blood against the walls of the arteries. Hypertension is asymptomatic, but it can lead to serious complications like heart illness, stroke and kidney failure.
The healthy blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. You are confirmed as suffering from high blood pressure if the top number is persistently 140 or beyond or if the bottom number is more or equal to 90.
- The relationship between hypertension and being overweight
There are various relationships between hypertension and being overweight. If you have excess body weight, your chances of developing hypertension are high since your heart requires much force to pump blood to the entire body cells. Too much fat can also destroy kidneys, which are essential in blood pressure regulation.
- Importance of weight loss
Loss of weight helps overweight people maintain healthier thus lowering hypertension. Other than weight loss, quitting smoking, reducing salt intake and frequent physical activity is essential to overweight people. Your doctor may prescribe you some drugs to reduce hypertension if changes in lifestyle are not effective.
Heart disease is a collective term that refers to various complications that may affect the heart. Major problems arise as a result of narrowing and hardening of the blood vessel. This prevents the supply of sufficient blood to the heart. Other problems affect the pumping of the heart. People with heart illness may have a heart attack, heart failure, abrupt death, chest pain or unusual heartbeat. Heart disease causes most deaths in the US.
- The relationship between heart disease and overweight
Overweight or obese individuals usually have health issues like hypertension, increased cholesterol, and high blood sugar that may make them prone to heart disease. Being overweight can make the heart overwork itself.
- Benefits of weight loss
You can reduce the probability of getting heart disease if you lose five to ten percent of your body weight. Then your blood pressure, the amount of cholesterol and flow of blood will improve.
A stroke occurs as a result of brain cell death, which happens due cessation of blood flow to a brain part. It can arise from the blockage of brain artery by a blood clot or rupture of the brain’s blood vessel.
- The link between strokes and being overweight
Being overweight and obese lead to hypertension which is the major stroke cause. Being overweight also makes one prone to other stroke-related problems such as increased cholesterol, high blood sugar and heart illness.
- Benefits of weight loss
Regulating your blood pressure is one of the vital ways of minimizing the chances of developing stroke. Loss of weight is an effective way of lowering blood pressure as well as reducing levels of cholesterol and blood sugar, thus lowering vulnerability to stroke.
Cancer develops when a body part like grows abnormally or beyond control. At times, the cancerous cells move to other body areas. Cancer is ranked third major cause of deaths in the US.
- Link between cancer and being overweight
When adults add more body weight, they become prone to development of various cancers regardless of whether the weight makes them overweight/obese or not. There’s no clear explanation on how being overweight increases the risk of having cancer. Behaviors that may make one become overweight may increase cancer risk.
- Importance of weight loss
Maintaining body weight can make one avoid high cancer risks. Eating a healthy diet, being physically active and loss of weight may also minimize the risks of developing cancer.
Kidneys filter blood by removing excess water and waste, which form urine. Kidneys also assist in regulating blood pressure.
Kidney disease is characterized with damaged kidneys which are unable to filter blood properly. Wastes can accumulate in the body as a result of kidney damage. Other health problems may arise as well.
- Link between kidney disease and being overweight
The most prominent causes of long-standing kidney illness include diabetes and hypertension, whose developments are triggered by obesity. However, obesity itself can cause kidney disease and make the illness develop faster.
- Importance of weight loss
The development of early-staged chronic kidney illness can be slowed down by weight loss. Eating foods with less salt, controlling blood pressure and maintaining healthy blood glucose levels also helps.
- Type 2 diabetes is the most prominent diabetes type, which is majorly influenced by family history as well as genes
- Blood pressure is the intensity of force exerted by the blood against the walls of the arteries
- BMI uses individual's weight and height to compare and establish whether you are either normal-weight, overweight, or obese