08 SEPTEMBER 2018

5 Ways Obesity Can Kill

Obesity: has become one of the leading killer diseases in the world. Read on to know how it can be fatal.

Did you know, being obese can cost you your life! Researchers say, overweight people die a year earlier than expected and people who are obese die at least three years prematurely. We have long known that obesity can cause several health complications, including stroke, heart diseases and even cancer. Those with a BMI over 40 are defined as severely obese. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), around 15% women and 11% the men are obese. Overall, around 600 million people are obese and more than 1 billion adults are overweight. Now, that’s some food for thought…

Not many know that obesity can kill in many different ways. Here are some ways in which obesity could be killing you slowly and silently:

1. Can cause the heart to malfunction

The human heart is susceptible to arthrosclerosis and blockages. However not everyone knows that fat plays a major role in the way the heart operates, the thickness of the muscles and the overall efficiency of the heart. When a person has fat accumulated around the belly, it puts great pressure on the internal organs and pushes the diaphragm into the chest. This in turn creates pressure on the heart, almost pressing down on it. To add to it, excess fat in the body makes the muscles of the heart thick and less efficient and also results in the heart working harder than usual to pump blood. It has to pump blood through sclerotic arteries and to the less efficient organs that require more blood to function. The extra work can make the heart muscles tough and thick and create several complications such as heart failure, heart attacks and perforations in the heart, all of which can be fatal.

2. Affects the lungs

If you are obese, you would feel breathless while indulging in even the simplest of activities. Obesity does a lot of damage to the lungs. The fat presses down on the diaphragm and leaves less space for the lungs to expand. This, in turn, can make people feel dizzy after work, as their body does not get enough oxygen. Not to forget, when your body does not get the required amount of oxygen, it can slowly kill you.

3. Disturbs your sleep and brain activity

Fat impedes the normal functioning of the pituitary glands that cause the production of the growth hormone. When a child is obese, the excessive fat interferes with the production of the hormone and can cause stunted growth in them. Moreover, one of the worst affects of excess weight is that it can lead to obstructive sleep apnea. The condition is caused by the presence of excessive belly fat and fat around the neck. The fat on the stomach compresses the lungs while the fat around the neck presses down on the windpipe and makes it difficult for a person to breathe normally while sleeping. Another study shows that obese people are prone to brain atrophy and irregular blood flow to the brain, which makes them prone to strokes.

4. Causes depression

In a study, it was found that the presence of excessive fat can also lead to depression. Fat accumulation causes a lack of communication within the brain, which can lead to depression. It also found that there is a vicious cycle between depression and metabolic syndrome. According to experts, people who are excessively fat should follow a healthy diet and also an exercise regimen to keep the weight down. Exercise helps to burn fat that is deposited in the body, and this in turn is crucial to break the cycle of depression-metabolic syndrome. Obesity can also have a detrimental impact mental health and impede the ability of a person to make decisions. Studies have shown that the brains of people who are fat have to work harder than the brains of people with normal weight. Also, the parts of the brain that control memory and decision making are hyperactive in people with excessive weight. The communication system of the brain is also hampered.

5. Can lead to cancer

Obesity is one of the major causes for several kinds of cancers, especially colorectal. The extra weight in the body creates hormones such as testosterone, oestrogen and insulin as well as proteins that change the body the body cells behaves. This can increase our risk of developing cancer as well as other diseases. The proteins and hormones travel all around our bodies and put us at great risk of developing different types of cancer.

6. Adversely impacts the liver

Fat creates a lot of pressure on the liver due to the presence of high cholesterol in the blood of the person. This causes fat buildup in the arteries, which in turn puts more pressure on the liver. The excess fat also causes fat buildup within the liver leading to fatty liver disease and even cirrhosis.

7. Causes inflammation in the joints

Excessive fat can cause you to feel bloated. The fat in the body can lead to a stress reaction within the cells and this can release pro-inflammatory factors as well as immune cells from the fat. The spreading of inflammatory cells can cause inflammation in the body. That’s not all. Excess weight also puts a lot of pressure on the bones, eventually leading to arthritis. The excess belly fat in an obese person can also affect the structure of the lower back, thus leading to lower back pain and other health conditions such as vertebral issues and spondylosis over time.

8. Makes you even fatter

Here’s an interesting fact that you probably aren’t aware of… fat can make you even fatter! Fat in the body causes the production of adiponectin and interleukin 6, which makes the body feel that it needs to store more fat. This, in turn, makes you fatter. Researchers have also found that the dopamine rush that people experience after consuming fatty and sweet foods gradually decreases with obese people. This leads to more intense cravings, and therefore, more weight gain.

Conclusion

It’s best to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle to keep obesity, silent killer, at bay. Moreover, you should keep a regular check on your health parameters such as cholesterol level as well as other tests that your doctor prescribes if you suddenly see your weight spiraling out of control, so you can take preventive measures beforehand and remain in the pink of health.