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The Health Risks of Obesity

The Health Risks of Obesity
There's no question that obesity is an epidemic. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which is published annually, revealed that approximately one in four people in the United States are classified as obese. That's an incredible number"€”especially considering that it has been increasing steadily for the past twenty-five years.

What is Obesity?

To put it simply, being obese is when a person has enough body fat to put themselves at risk for a host of health problems-- most commonly being diabetes, , cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, reproductive issues, osteoarthritis, hypertension and cancer, just to name a few. The pressure that obesity puts on a person's body affects all of their major body organ systems, and decrease in how well they function.  It goes without saying that this can be detrimental on an individual's health and wellbeing.

The body mass index (BMI) is usually what is used to assess a person's risk of obesity, but it a frequently criticized system as it doesn't take into account the relative proportions of muscle, fat or bone in a body. Doctors can usually safety determine whether or not someone in obese by taking into account their height, weight and body competition"€”and conducting a visual assessment.

What Causes Obesity?

Obesity is caused by a number of different factors. One of the major reasons currently on the rise is because of the types of foods that are on the market, and available to people for very low prices. An example of this would be fast food, pizza and snacks that are available virtually everywhere.

A lack of exercise can also contribute to obesity. The more people are sitting in front of the television and computer, driving instead of walking and ordering their goods online instead of heading out to shop the less exercise they are getting.

Genetics and childhood habits make a huge impact as well. If your parents are overweight, and raised you in a household that promoted an unhealthy lifestyle then the chances are that you are still struggling with your weight as an adult.

What are the Health Risks of Obesity?

Being obsess puts you at risk of developing a vast number of health concerns, many which can be life threatening. As I mentioned before, when an individual is obese it actually puts a huge amount of strain on all of the major body organ systems. This can lead to a number of issues, including the following:

High Blood Pressure: Blood pressure that stays consistently high over a period of time can cause health concerns such as heart attack, congestive heart failure and heart disease"€”amongst others.

Type-2 Diabetes: When your body isn't processing glucose properly then it puts a huge strain on it. Type-2 diabetes can lead to stroke, kidney disease and blindness.

Sleep Apnea: A sleep disorder that causes an individual to have periods of pauses in their breathing pattern can greatly impact quality of sleep and contribute to other medical issues.

Osteoarthritis: With a heavier body, more strain is put on joints and from this can come osteoarthritis, a common joint problem. This can be a factor of chronic pain for those who are obese.

Cancer: Being obese can increase your risk of certain cancers, such breast. endometrial, gallbladder and colon.

Physical ailments are not the only risk factor of obesity: there are a host of psychological effects that can accompany it as well. Depression, anxiety and low self-esteem are problems commonly faced by people who are ashamed and unhappy with their body.

In society people often discriminate against those who are obese, and can cause them to be overlooked for certain jobs, promotions and barred from romantic engagements.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index had a portion of their study that asked people to rate their well-being in five major areas"€”community, finances, social, physical and purpose. The findings of this survey showed that people who were obese are much more likely to have less satisfaction in these five areas compared to someone who is of a lesser weight.

How Can You Overcome Obesity?

Although diets like the HCG diet can be helpful at helping you lose weight quickly and getting back on track to a healthy lifestyle, the truth behind weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is that it's not an easy process"€”it's a lifelong commitment that can be extremely difficult at times.

The first step to take if you are struggling with obesity is to talk to your primary health care provider and discuss your current health status. Getting tests and assessing your medical history and overall health is vital to keeping you safe during this process.

For those who are obese or overweight the HCG diet is a great option to consider because of how proven it is at helping people lose weight. However, once the diet is finished, it is crucial to set realistic goals to continue to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Managing stress and overcoming emotional eating can often be another important part of overcoming obesity, and there can be several factors that may need to be addressed at once.

Set realistic goals and try the HCG diet

Setting realistic goals may be the best thing you can do for yourself. The path to good health is a long one, but it very well may be the best thing you ever do for yourself. Be careful not to restrict calories without medical supervision; diets like the HCG diet can be very effective but you need to have a medical consultation prior to starting.

If plan on exercising, start slow"€”don't expect yourself to go from a completely sedentary lifestyle to a fitness expert in a matter of weeks. Remember, no matter how slow you are going you're always moving faster than someone sitting on the coach in front of the television.

Consider talking to a therapist during you weight loss process-- some people using food as a coping mechanism find it difficult to remove these trigger foods entirely from their diet without a lot of discomfort.

Overcoming obesity can be an emotional and difficult journey, but the health benefits, boost to your self-confidence and freedom from being addicted to food will completely change your life.

If you would like more information about the HCG diet or if you want to speak to a medical provider today to ask any questions you may have about obesity, Contact Nu Image Medical now.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

5 min read