Health Risks Of Obesity
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Health Risks Of Obesity

Obesity can be a factor in diseases such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Other obesity health risks may include arthritis and deep vein thrombosis.

The more obese you are, the more likely you are to suffer from heart disease, cancer, stroke or diabetes. Those with a body mass index higher than 30 are classed as medically obese, while morbid obesity is the term applied to those with a BMI over 40. In either case, people classed as ‘obese’ generally have shorter life spans than people of an average weight.

Abdominal obesity is particularly dangerous. This is an excess of visceral fat around the abdomen and stomach, and has been linked to cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. Generally speaking the term applies to women with a waist measurement over 35 inches, and men with 40 plus. This is traditionally known as being ‘apple’ shaped.

Obesity and Heart Disease

Being overweight may increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, angina and chest pain. Elevated blood pressure is more common in obese individuals than in those of a normal weight, as they are more likely to have high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Higher Risk of Stroke

One of the reasons people have strokes is due to atherosclerosis, the official term for hardening, or narrowing, of the arteries. This can lead to blood clots, which are a contributor to strokes. Atherosclerosis has been linked with a high intake of animal and trans fats, smoking, high cholesterol levels and obesity.

Obesity and Cancer Risk

Certain cancers have also been associated with obesity. These include: endometrial cancer (the lining of the uterus), gall bladder, colon, kidney, liver, ovarian and post-menopausal breast cancer. Overweight women double their chances of developing post-menopausal breast cancer.

Obesity and Type II Diabetes

Nearly 80 percent of all type II diabetes sufferers are overweight in some form or another. A body weight increase of just 10 to 20 pounds increases risk by 50 percent. Type II diabetes is often preceded by insulin resistance, a condition also common in overweight individuals. The pancreas becomes overworked and stops producing insulin. This can be directly attributed to a diet too high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Other Obesity Health Risks

Being seriously overweight can also lead to increased risk of: gallbladder disease, deep vein thrombosis, breathing problems, arthritis and fatty liver disease. Obese women who are pregnant put their baby at risk of birth defects, such as spina bifida.

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