Losing weight and transforming your body from being obese to a normal build can make you look better and more confident. However, more than helping you fit into those cute jeans, losing weight can be beneficial by reducing serious health risks as well.
One of the most commonly associated health issues with obesity is Type 2 diabetes, but there are actually several other chronic health problems that can be caused by excessive body weight.
Despite this, the good news is that Harvard University researchers found that reducing even just 5 to 10 percent of your total bodyweight can bring a significant difference in minimizing your risk levels for some diseases.
Below are five of the health issues that you can prevent through weight loss:
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
It is just normal for your liver to have some fat. However, it becomes a problem when over 10 percent of that organ’s weight is from fat and you will be at risk of acquiring non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This health issue is closely linked with excessive body weight and can result to swelling in your liver or organ failure.
While non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can be caused by some medications such as prednisone, tetracycline, and tamoxifen, physicians state that diet is the main culprit. According to doctors, frequently consuming processed food or those with high fat or sugar content can overwork the liver and lead to this disease.
According to the National Institute of Health, 30 to 40 percent of adults in the United States have this condition and the number of affected people can even increase.
A lot of people have this misconception that stroke is a health problem that only old people can experience. However, there is a strong increase in stroke incidents among younger people primarily because of the rise in weight-related health issues such as lipid disorders and diabetes.
According to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s director of neurocritical care Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos, “Compared to 20 years ago, incidence of stroke is rising in young adults to a significant degree.” She further stated that there is one study which found that the hospitalization rates among those affected by ischemic stroke are rising for both men and women who are under the age of 45 years old. In particular, the issue stems from obesity.
With this, reducing weight and having health markers checked prove to be effective preventive measures. Even if you think you are young and healthy, it is still recommended to get a wellness check.
Some Types of Cancers
According to recent research studies, excess weight can increase your risk for different types of cancer such as colon, kidney, stomach, breast, liver, esophagus, gallbladder, uterine, thyroid, pancreas, and brain.
According to IARC Working Group chair Dr. Graham Colditz, an average person would just need to gain an additional weight of 25 pounds on top of the normal to increase his vulnerability to such disease. The reason may be because being overweight can lead to changes in a person’s metabolism and hormones in a way that leads to chronic inflammation which is then strongly associated to cancer.
However, Dr. Colditz also stated that even just a 5 percent decrease in weight can start to lower your risk of cancer.
According to Harvard University researchers, excess weight can affect the function of your lungs because when there is too much fat in the abdomen, the movement of your diaphragm and the expansion of your lungs becomes limited. In addition, visceral fat can minimize your chest wall’s flexibility and make the airways in your lungs narrow.
When this happens, you become at a greater risk for health problems such as obstructive sleep apnea and asthma. Based on the analysis of seven studies, obesity heightens your risk of asthma by 50 percent.
Meanwhile, sleep apnea which is also associated to obesity can result to several other health issues including cardiovascular problems and hypertension.
A number of studies have noted a strong link between obesity and depression, with the relationship going both ways. Obesity can increase a person’s risk of having depression, while depression puts a person at a higher risk of obesity. The situation worsens with the use of antidepressant medications which has weight gain as one of the side effects.
People who are depressed experience poor self-image and often have unhealthy habits such as overeating which can contribute to the depression-obesity cycle.
Aside from the major health problems shared in this article, excessive body weight can also cause a number of other problems related to reproduction, the kidneys, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and musculoskeletal disorders.
Good thing, incremental changes in body weight or sustained weight loss for the long-term can bring significant benefits to your overall health. With healthy diet and regular exercise, you will be able to easily achieve this.