Anti Obesity Day: Obesity or accumulation of excessive fat in body has become a major health concern across the globe. The pandemic-induced lockdowns seem to have increased the risk of getting obese with people leading a sedentary lifestyle. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese, according to WHO. This excessive body fat increases the risk of serious health problems from heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis to even reproductive problems. It can also increase risk of certain types of cancer.
Obesity is also considered a risk factor for certain cancers like that of the food-pipe, stomach thyroid, pancreas, large intestine, prostate, gallbladder, uterus, ovary, breast and multiple myeloma.
Dr. Ramya Nair, Consultant Physiotherapist, Masina Hospital Reliva Physiotherapy Center opens up on other health conditions that are associated with obesity:
Cardiovascular Disease: Body weight is directly associated with various cardiovascular risk factors. As BMI increases, so do blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and inflammation, she says.
Coronary Artery Disease: “Ischemic (clot-caused) stroke and coronary artery disease share many of the same disease processes and risk factors. A repeat analysis that statistically accounted for blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes weakened the associations, suggesting that these factors mediate the effect of obesity on stroke,” says Dr Nair.
Type 2 Diabetes: Most people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. You can cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by losing weight, eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and exercising more, says Dr Nair.
Gallbladder Disease: Gallbladder disease and gallstones are more common if you are overweight. Ironically, weight loss itself, particularly rapid weight loss or loss of a large amount of weight, can make you more likely to get gallstones.
Osteoarthritis: It is a common joint condition that most often affects the knee, hip, or back. “Carrying extra pounds places extra pressure on these joints and wears away the cartilage (tissue cushioning the joints) that normally protects them. Weight loss can ease stress on the knees, hips, and lower back and may improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis,” says Dr Nair.
Sleep Apnea: It is a breathing condition that’s linked to being overweight. Sleep apnea can cause a person to snore heavily and to briefly stop breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea may cause daytime sleepiness and make heart disease and stroke more likely.
Digestive problems: Obesity increases the likelihood of developing heartburn, gallbladder disease and liver problems.
Reproductive issues: Obesity can influence various aspects of reproduction, from sexual activity to conception. Among women, the association between obesity and infertility, primarily ovulatory infertility, is represented by a classic U-shaped curve.
Severe Covid-19 symptoms: Obesity increases the risk of developing severe symptoms if you are infected with the virus that causes Covid-19.