No one wants to feel like they look bad when they put on a few pounds, but the scary truth is that there are many dangers of being overweight that are far more serious than your appearance. You can suffer health consequences that are severe enough that they could be fatal. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by getting acquainted with the dangers of being overweight so that you can protect your health for a lifetime.
1. Heart Disease
You might chalk heart disease up to something that afflicts only old people. In fact, heart disease is the number one killer of women, so it pays big time to take care of your ticker. Carrying around too much extra fat puts a heavy strain on your heart and the fattening foods that lead to obesity clog your arteries and jack up your cholesterol, both of which increase the risk of heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is one of the scariest dangers of being overweight and should make you want to make healthier choices.
2. Muscle and Skeletal Disorders
Being too heavy places excess stress on your bones, joints and muscles, which can lead to painful and even debilitating health conditions that can negatively impact your entire life. This includes osteoarthritis, which can impair your ability to work, play with your kids and sit comfortably to watch a movie. Wearing away the tissue at your joints can make it painful to do many day to day activities.
3. Sleep Problems
A number on the scale that’s too high can make it really hard to sleep. When you lie down, shifting body fat can make it hard to breathe, which can result in sleep apnea, a condition that causes you to stop breathing multiple times as you slumber. This can wake you up and decrease the quality of your sleep, leaving you sluggish the next day. It’s hard enough to slog through work already, so why make it worse?
4. Kidney and Liver Disease
With a high body fat percentage, your internal organs must work harder to function properly. A build up of fat in your liver causes damage that can lead to lifelong problems. Likewise, too much body fat can hinder your kidneys' abilities to filter waste, which can lead to life-threatening damage. I know you don’t want to deal with that!
5. Pregnancy Difficulties
Whether you’re ready to have babies now or that’s way in the future, it pays to keep your weight at a healthy number. Being overweight and obese when you get pregnant can result in things you’d probably rather avoid. After all, morning sickness and raging hormones are hard enough to deal with. I promise you that! Women who are too heavy during pregnancy run the risk of developing high blood pressure, insulin resistance and increased blood sugar. These complications can affect your own health and the health of your baby.
Being overweight can affect the way your body regulates insulin, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. The condition is more common in people who are very overweight, so keeping your numbers healthy can help prevent the disease. Often, people who have diabetes can avoid medication and severe dietary restrictions by shedding excess pounds. Talk to your doctor about your risks, so you make lifestyle choices that keep you healthy.
Yes, I just uttered the dreaded “c” word. The thought of cancer strikes fear into my heart. I can’t imagine how I’d react to that news. Keeping my weight healthy helps put my mind at ease. It’s not entirely clear how excess body fat contributes to cancer, but it raises the risk of several types, including endometrial, breast and colon cancers. The good news is that the steps you take to drop weight, namely, eating healthy and getting enough exercise, are an added bonus in helping to protect you from cancer.
What health condition scares you the most? Are you willing to lose weight or avoid weight gain to keep it at bay? I know I am, so join me in choosing to take a walk today and eat a salad for dinner tonight!