Seven Benefits of Losing Weight to Avoid Obesity Health Risks

Almost 40 percent of U.S. adults and 18.5 percent of youth are obese, according to the 2015-2016 findings by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The findings are important because obesity health risks create a number of medical issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Obesity hampers mobility and may have a negative effect on self-esteem.

The benefit of losing weight often results in improvement in other medical conditions.

Seven health benefits from losing weight are:

  1. Feel better
  2. Have more energy
  3. Reduce your cholesterol levels
  4. Improve or resolve type 2 diabetes
  5. Decrease your risk of heart disease, stroke, fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis and gastroesophageal reflux
  6. Improve your breathing and mobility
  7. Address sleep apnea

How do you know if you’re obese? And, how do you know if your health conditions are related to your weight?

Definition of Obesity

Obesity in adults is having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more, and extreme obesity is 40+ BMI. In youth (up to age 19), obesity is being at or above the 95th percentile on the CDC growth charts, with extreme obesity at or above the 120 percent mark. BMI is a calculation that is a relationship between height and weight. Many factors influence weight, including family history, eating habits, hormones, lifestyle choices and psychological factors.

Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic issue defined by eating too much and lack of self-control. Obesity is a progressive disease that may increase due to chronic sleep loss, stress, some medications, pollutants and eating types of food such as those high in corn syrup, sugar, fat or processed meats.

Types of Obesity Health Risks

People who are morbidly obese have the greatest risk for developing serious obesity-related medical conditions. Common conditions associated with obesity are:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease-related issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina, congestive heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Bone and joint problems including arthritis, back and joint pain, knee pain
  • Breathing issues like asthma or sleep apnea
  • Infertility or pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and C-section delivery
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Stress urinary incontinence
  • Depression and eating disorders
  • Certain types of cancers
  • Skin fold rashes
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Finally, morbid obesity increases the risk of dying at a young age due to the many health issues contributed by obesity. Your doctor can talk with you about your specific medical risks and options for losing weight.

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