With obesity now affecting 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children, it is edging ever closer to becoming an epidemic and it is largely down to our unhealthy western lifestyle. Our lives are filled with processed foods, sedentary jobs and a lack of exercise. This has led to us being less healthy, over weight and putting excessive strain on the NHS as we demand help with obesity related illnesses. And now, with children becoming part of the statistics, we are merely saving up decades of obesity related financial pressure on the NHS.
Obesity is generically described as anyone with a BMI over 30 or else women with a waist circumference of 80+ centimetres and men with a waist circumference of 94+ centimetres.
The dangers of obesity are becoming more present in our lives as television shows such as Embarrassing Bodies and Super Size Versus Super Skinny show the life threatening affects of being drastically over weight. But what are the black and white facts of being obese?
The negative effects of obesity
Diabetes – Type 2
This is developed when the body does not react to it’s natural insulin production or else does not produce enough insulin through poor dietry habits. This lack of insulin means blood glucose levels become dangerously high which is when hypoglycemia can kick in. This can take the form of constant thirst, severe fatigue, poor vision and a need to urinate a lot more. Type 2 Diabetes can also lead to regular bouts of thrush, constipation and skin infections.
Coronary heart disease is the UK’s biggest killer, leading to around 82,000 annual deaths,or in other words 1 in 5 men and 1 in 8 women. When the arteries become blocked due to a poor and fatty diet, heart disease can be the result which can cause heart attacks, angina, heart failure and ultimately death.
1) Bowel Cancer
You may notice a change in bowel habits, blood in your feces and weight loss. If caught in time, the chance of survival can be as high as 90% through methods such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The excess insulin from the Type 2 Diabetes can in fact stimulate the cancer cells growth in the bowel.
2) Breast Cancer
Being overweight and going through the menopause can cause excess oestrogen in the breasts which can lead to breast cancer. It generally falls under the categories of invasive or non-invasive cancer and can be treated, as with bowel cancer, with surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy.
This is caused when oxygen stops being carried to the brain by the blood. During a stroke one side of the face may drop, arms may be immovable and speech could be slurred or rambling. Over weight people are at higher risk because of the related conditions which affect blood circulation (and as such affect oxygen getting around the body) such as high cholesterol and blood pressure. The results of a stroke can be long term and rehabilitation may be required. Strokes are believed to be preventable through living a healthy lifestyle which can keep your blood and cholesterol level lowered.
With your life on the line, the choice between surgery, chemotherapy, infections, the horror or being diagnosed with life threatening diseases and death, or simply eating well and getting rid of excess weight should really be an easy decision. Moving more and eating a little less is all it takes to help the body start to shed weight and that is a very simple combination to ultimately help you lead a healthy, and hopefully longer, life!