Major Health Problems of Obesity
Just about every organ of the body works less well when you’re obese. Here are the disease consequences of obesity and other major health problems associated with being overfat.
With excess body fat come higher levels of blood lipids: Cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total triglyceride levels all increase, while HDL (good) cholesterol decreases. These lipid levels lead to bad things for your cardiovascular system. The incidence of high blood pressure also rises when you’re overfat.
Excess fat reduces the efficiency of insulin. As a result, the pancreas needs to produce more insulin and may eventually wear out, leading to diabetes.
Psychological and Emotional Problems
Being obese definitely affects the psychosocial development of the child and adolescent. Our society places less value on fat people. Our culture rewards leanness and penalizes fatness, particularly in women. Studies have shown that obese children are more likely to develop a poor self-image and low self-esteem. They are prone to social isolation and, because they compete poorly in athletics, often choose more sedentary activities, which further increases their fat. Obesity is a problem not just of the body but also the mind. Obsession with being fat and becoming thin presents its own problems, such as anorexia and bulimia.
A study showed the 33 percent of severely obese persons had sleep apnea, a problem with breathing during sleep, that was severe enough to cause restlessness at night and interfere with the ability to work and think the following day.
Especially in growing children and adolescents, increased weight bearing on the hips and knee bones tends to cause bowed legs, to the extent that the leg bones are more likely to slip out of the hipbones (a condition called “slipped femoral epiphysis”). Arthritis is also more common in obese persons. Losing weight eases the workload for arthritic joints.
One study showed that fat babies get twice as many infections as slim babies. Another study demonstrated that the ability of white blood cells to fight infection is reduced in obese persons.
Increase in Other Health Problems
The risks of gallstones, headaches, kidney problems, and colon cancer all increase when you’re overfat.