According to statistics, obesity levels have increased from 15% to 29% in the UK since the ‘90s. This increase has been attributed to sedentary lifestyles, quick access to fast food, and increasing mental health concerns. The condition is more than just a simple weight problem. Obesity is a complex disease that increases the risks of other life-threatening conditions.
To understand how someone can get obese, we need to understand how the body stores fat first. The formula is very simple. If you eat more calories than your body can use, the excess is stored in the form of extra fat. In fact, even if you don’t eat much but only eat fast food, you may still get obese.
Excess calories interfere with the way the body produces and processes insulin. This makes it hard for the body to determine where it should put the energy you consume and rarely uses it as fuel.
That extra weight accumulates in the abdomen in the form of visceral fat, which is notoriously difficult to shed and leads to health concerns.
If you don’t have a healthy lifestyle or a diet that can help you shed weight, you are well on your way to getting obese. Here are some health scares that this condition can cause:
When your blood sugar is too high, it can lead to type 2 diabetes. This happens when we eat more calories than our body can process, which, in turn, increases glucose levels, which are stored in the form of fat.
Even if you take insulin to control those levels, your body may end up absorbing more glucose from the food you eat, resulting in more weight gain. Exercises that are coupled with a healthy diet plan can ensure that your body starts melting more fat than you consume.
When the body has more fat content than it can process easily, it tends to accumulate it not only in cells but also in arteries that supply blood to the heart. The pressure with which that blood travels to and from the heart is higher in obese individuals because they have narrower arteries as compared to a healthy person’s blood vessels.
With time, these vessels get blocked completely, leading to heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases that can prove fatal with time. If these clogged arteries get blood clots, you can also suffer a stroke.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD is common in obese individuals. The more visceral fat a person has around their abdomen, the more pressure it places on their stomach. The person with the excess fat would feel as if a large rock is squeezing their innards and forcing partially digested food through the only opening it has access to – your oesophagus.
The condition also weakens the ring of muscle that is present between the stomach and oesophagus, preventing it from relaxing when it should.
If you are overweight, that does not necessarily affect your ability to conceive. However, obesity can severely decrease your chances of getting pregnant. Excess body fat can compromise the ovulation cycle and the oestrogen levels necessary for healthy conception.
Most people don’t know that besides the ovaries, fat cells also produce oestrogen. Hence, the more fat you have, the higher your oestrogen levels. This prevents healthy and regular ovulation which prevents conception.
If you are overweight, your joints will be affected by the pressure of that extra body fat even if you don’t realise it yet. When that weight tips towards obesity, your weight-bearing joints, i.e., the knees and hips will start to protest.
Here is how that works. Every pound of extra weight places about 4 pounds of extra pressure on weight-bearing joints. So if you are 100 pounds overweight, that is about 400 pounds of extra pressure on joints that can’t handle that much load. Add an incline, and that pressure multiplies tenfold! If you don’t lose weight in time, the condition can develop into arthritis.
You can get cancer even if you have never smoked a cigarette in your life. This is especially true if you have a lot of visceral fat around your abdomen. Since fat cells are large, they don’t leave room for much oxygen in that area. The oxygen deficiency caused by the fat cells eventually leads to inflammation, which is the body’s response to injury and disease.
This inflammation can prevent the body from responding to insulin and can trigger the release of more insulin than it needs. This, in turn, can trigger the release of more oestrogen, which can lead to cancer as it causes cells to reproduce abnormally.
The solution is simple. Whether you are just overweight or are obese, you need to get fit and healthy or risk getting the diseases mentioned above. While weight loss is not an easy journey, you can facilitate it with smart solutions such as the smart body composition scale, STEPS. Available from Qutek Wellbeing, this smart scale takes advantage of advanced BIA frequency technology to analyse major health components such as your BMI, BMR, visceral fat content, body fat, and even water retention!
The state-of-the-art scale comes with a companion app that is compatible with both Android and iOS devices so you can keep track of your health on the go. It synchronises with the readings of your body index stats to produce tracking history, so you will know whether you are losing or gaining weight.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle has never been this easy!