Some of the many increased serious health risks associated with obesity are:
- Heart disease and heart attacks
- Strokes and high blood pressure
- Colon cancer (now associated with excess fat consumption in the diet)
- Degenerative joint disease (arthritis), sometimes crippling and leading to a need for joint replacement
- Insulin resistance
- Diabetes mellitus (high blood sugars), with a long list of related complications in the circulatory (heart), renal (kidney), neurological (nerves), retinal (visual) systems and with infectious diseases and problems with healing
- Depression (obese patients are typically inactive which can lead to increased incidences of chronic clinical depression that could be treated and greatly improved with exercise)
- Bad self image
- Negative thoughts
- Breathing difficulties
- Chronic fatigue
- Obesity can be very serious and even cause death. Pay attention especially if the weight is around your waist since it does affect heart and circulatory health to have it located there. Often obese people have high cholesterol and triglycerides, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Type II Diabetes and high blood pressure are additional risks. Obesity also affects mobility and ease of movement, which as you get older increases the risks of complications and falling.
- Eliminating or seriously limiting refined processed carbohydrates (apart from the occasional treat), coupled with cardio exercise, such as cardio walking, can help to reverse obesity. The diseases, often referred to as diseases of Western civilization, such as hypertension, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dental caries, and others, became pervasive in the twentieth century primarily because of a diet high in refined carbohydrates. For example, from around two-and-one-half million years ago until the Agricultural Revolution around ten thousand years ago grains were not consumed by our ancestors. Many people have a problem with these foods because our bodies are extremely similar to the bodies of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Less than 1/10th of 1% of our genes have changed in the last 10,000 years. It is not that long ago in terms of evolution. If you are unsure what refined processed carbohydrates are, you will find a list further down this page, listed under Related Questions.
- If you are significantly overweight, you need to avoid further weight gain and you need to lose weight. Excess body fat is a lot to carry and hard on your heart. Your lungs have to work harder, too.
- The correct weight for a person is related to BMI (body mass index). This can be measured for you. Alternatively, to determine your percentage of body fat at home, obtain some plastic body fat calipers and do a simple skin-fold test. Body fat calipers are not expensive and they are readily available to buy.
- See the Related Links section below for information about BMI and calculating your BMI from your height and weight using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) BMI calculators. BMI, Body Mass Index, can help you determine if you are considered overweight for your height and, if so, to what extent (e.g., underweight, normal weight, overweight, obesity, or morbid obesity.) There is also much more information about obesity in adults and children at that section of the CDC site.