A healthy diet along with exercise is often lauded in various health sites to achieve optimum physical and mental health. Diet and exercise play a vital role in a person’s health. Poor management of diet can result in adverse effects that can lead to further complications. A bad diet can also leave you more vulnerable to infections and other diseases.
Obesity is a worldwide pandemic. According to WHO data, it has tripled between 1975 and 2016. The World Health Organization defines overweight and obesity as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Obesity can increase the risks for other chronic conditions. Obesity is also preventable.
The main cause of obesity is an energy imbalance between the calories consumed and the calories expended. Dietary choices such as consuming energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars can contribute to obesity. Similarly, lifestyle choices can also lead to obesity. The increase in physical inactivity caused by the sedentary nature of many forms of work, modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization also contribute to obesity.
Overweight and obesity may increase the risk of many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Obesity in a pregnant woman may lead to short- and long-term health problems for both the mother and child. Some health problems that can be linked to obesity include:
Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal. It is the most common type of diabetes. Overweight is common among diabetics. Losing weight may help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Losing weight and becoming more physically active can help control blood sugar levels and prevent or delay health problems. Losing weight and exercising could also help reduce the medication needed.
- Heart disease: Heart disease is a term used to describe several problems that can affect the heart. Obesity can increase the risk of heart disease. Losing 5 to 10 per cent of the weight may lower the chances of developing heart disease. Weight loss may improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood flow.
- Certain types of cancer: Obesity can be associated with several cancers, such as liver, pancreatic, kidney, and colon, among others.
- Increased depression: Obesity can affect mental health. It can be linked to depression and issues with body image.
- High blood pressure: High blood pressure, or hypertension, usually has no symptoms, but it could lead to serious problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Overweight can contribute to hypertension. Excess fat can also damage kidneys, which help regulate blood pressure. Losing weight to achieve a normal BMI can help reduce high blood pressure.
- Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing stops for periods at night. Obesity can make airways too small and cause sleep apnea.
- Joint pain: Overweight can put a strain on the joints, leading to pain and stiffness.
- Fatty liver disease: Excess fat can build up around the liver, causing damage and even liver failure.
- Weakened muscles and bones: Obesity can cause muscle mass and bone density to deteriorate, increasing the risk for disability and fracture.
- Pregnancy problems: Problems such as the increased risk for cesarean delivery (C-section), high blood sugar during pregnancy and high blood pressure can be linked to obesity.
- Stroke: Obesity and being overweight can increase blood pressure. High blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes. Keeping blood pressure levels under control can reduce the risk of stroke. Losing weight may help lower blood pressure. It may also improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which may reduce the risk of stroke.
Obesity is a global pandemic that has seen significant growth over the past years. Proper care can help reduce this preventable condition. When seeking medical aid, doctors who specialize in internal medicine in Doha, called Internists, can be consulted. They are the first health care providers patients visit when faced with a new health concern. At Premium Naseem, we have highly-skilled specialists who will provide you with quality care. Begin a healthier life with Premium Naseem. Head over to one of our clinics to get started.