Obesity Health Risks You Should Worry About

ObesityThere is much discussion in the public sphere about obesity and the so-called “obesity epidemic” that faces Americans today. Unfortunately most of the discussion tends to center around how people who are obese look, and how they feel about themselves and their interaction with others, rather than the health risks they face. And while the psychological aspects of living with obesity are numerous, any informed conversation about obesity should work to explain how dangerous the condition is to your health.

Statistics are alarming, and well-established: at the most basic level, studies have shown someone who is overweight by 40% or more is 200% more likely to die prematurely than someone who is of “normal” weight. The reasons are myriad, as are the medical problems faced by obese people; these include more common ailments including diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease, but also run the gamut from gout to osteoarthritis to gallstones, gallbladder disease and cancer.

People who are obese often face persistent respiratory problems that can range from being constantly out-of-breath to asthma as well as sleep apnea. These are all chronic diseases that are serious medical conditions that require medical care and all the associated costs and risks of that care; persons with family histories of any of these conditions will find they are much more likely to contract serious cases of them than their non-obese family members.

The good news is that every pound lost is a step in the right direction; even modest weight loss can make a significant statistical difference in whether these diseases will present themselves, and how significant and perilous they will be if and when they do. If you are obese, the best thing to do for your health is to start a weight loss program immediately; please contact us for help today!

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in obesity, Weight Loss | 0 comments

Health Risks of Obesity

Health Effects of Obesity
Some of obesity’s health effects include an increased risk for a range of problems, such as diabetes, fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, stroke, and high blood pressure. The prospect of losing weight may seem daunting. However, the good news is that by losing just 5 percent of your current weight, you can reduce your risk of experiencing the dangerous effects of obesity.

An Overview on the Health Effects of Obesity
It is all too common for a person to be overweight or obese (extremely overweight) in the United States. Today, nearly two-thirds of American adults (about 130 million people) are overweight or obese.

obesityarticleEven more concerning is that approximately 15 percent of children and adolescents are overweight, compared to just 4 percent a few decades ago, and another 15 percent are at risk for being overweight. Childhood obesity is a growing concern in today’s world. An alarming number of children are obese and developing diseases normally seen in adulthood. Overweight adolescents have a greatly increased risk of dying from heart disease in adulthood. Even our youngest citizens are at risk. About 10 percent of preschoolers weigh more than is healthy for them.

Weighing too much may increase your risk for developing many health problems. If your body mass index (BMI) indicates that you are overweight or obese, you may be at risk for many of obesity’s health effects. Here are just a few:

Type 2 diabetes
Heart disease
Certain cancers
Sleep apnea

The good news is that you can lower your health risks by losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds.

Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity
One of the major health effects of obesity is the development of type 2 diabetes. The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. This was formerly known as adult-onset diabetes. About 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2. Diabetes is a serious disease, because there are numerous complications associated with it that increase a person’s chances for premature death. Type 2 diabetes is associated with:

Older age
Family history of diabetes
Previous history of gestational diabetes
Physical inactivity

Link to Obesity
More than 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. It is not known exactly why people who are overweight are more likely to suffer from this disease. It may be that being overweight causes cells to change, making them less effective at using sugar from the blood. This then puts stress on the cells that produce insulin (a hormone that carries sugar from the blood to cells) and makes them gradually fail.

Impact of Weight Loss
You can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes by losing weight and increasing the amount of physical activity you do. A recent study showed that lifestyle modifications resulting in a 5 to 7 percent weight loss could delay and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, losing weight and becoming more physically active can help you control your blood sugar levels (see Diabetes and Exercise). Losing weight and exercising more may also allow you to reduce the amount of diabetes medication you take.

Heart Disease
Another serious health effect of obesity is heart disease. Heart disease refers to diseases that only occur in the heart and the blood vessel system within the heart (see Heart Diseases). The most common type of heart disease is coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as coronary artery disease (CAD) and ischemic heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States and in most Westernized countries. People with heart disease are also at increased risk for angina, congestive heart failure, or an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).

Link to Obesity
People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from:

High blood pressure
High triglycerides (blood fats)
High LDL cholesterol (a fat-like substance often called the “bad cholesterol”)
Low levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”).

These are all heart disease risk factors. In addition, people with more body fat have higher blood levels of substances that cause inflammation. Inflammation in blood vessels and throughout the body may raise a person’s risk for heart disease.

Impact of Weight Loss
Losing 5 to 15 percent of your weight can lower your chances of developing heart disease. If you weigh 200 pounds, this means losing as little as 10 pounds. Weight loss may lower blood pressure, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels; improve how your heart works and your blood flows; and decrease inflammation throughout your body.

The effects of obesity on your health also include an increased risk for developing cancer. Cancer occurs when cells in one part of the body, such as the colon, grow abnormally or out of control and possibly spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.

Link to Obesity
Being overweight may increase the risk of developing several types of cancer. For men, obesity increases the risk for:

Colon cancer
Rectal cancer
Prostate cancer.

For women, obesity increases the risk for:

Breast cancer
Uterine cancer
Ovarian cancer
Gallbladder cancer
Cervical cancer.

Gaining weight as an adult increases the risk for several of these cancers. Being overweight also may increase the risk of dying from some cancers. It is not known exactly how being overweight increases one’s cancer risk. It may be that fat cells make hormones that affect cell growth and lead to cancer. Also, eating or physical activity habits that may lead to being overweight can also contribute to the risk for cancer.

Impact of Weight Loss
Avoiding weight gain may prevent a rise in cancer risk. Weight loss, as well as healthy eating and physical activity habits, may lower one’s risk for cancer.

Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by interruptions of a person’s breathing while he or she is asleep. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly and experience daytime sleepiness.

Link to Obesity
The risk for sleep apnea is higher for people who are overweight. A person who is overweight may have more fat stored around his or her neck. This can make the airway smaller. A smaller airway can make breathing difficult, loud (snoring), or stop altogether. In addition, fat stored in the neck and throughout the body can produce substances that cause inflammation. Inflammation in the neck may be a risk factor for sleep apnea.

Impact of Weight Loss
Weight loss usually improves sleep apnea. It also may help to decrease neck size and lessen inflammation.

Final Thoughts on Obesity’s Health Effects
Today, more than 65 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. Even more concerning is the increasing occurrence of childhood obesity. There are many effects of obesity, such as: heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer, as described in this article.

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in obesity, Weight Loss | 0 comments

Setting Yourself Up For Weight Loss Success

CENTRALPASCO09011Whether you’re setting out to lose weight on your own or through our weight loss center, we’ve found the biggest obstacle to weight loss is often found in, as they say, that gray matter between the ears.

It may sound in many ways like a tired platitude, but establishing a positive attitude is critical to success in every endeavor — and weight loss is no different. In fact, the weight loss process is probably more easily influenced by attitude than most, in that there are more opportunities and pitfalls in weight loss programs than in other endeavors. Consider how easy it can be to consider weight loss a restrictive, minimizing lifestyle, marked by scarcity and distress; it’s all too easy to focus on those things that have been “given up” in a negative way, rather than remembering the overwhelmingly positive aspects of weight loss.

Remember, losing weight won’t happen if you think in terms of negativity — thinking you’re missing out on things you used to enjoy. It’s important to set yourself up for success not by singling out the downsides to the process, but by highlighting the upsides to the new lifestyle you’re setting out to enjoy: feeling better all the time, not just fleetingly when something passes your lips. You’re not losing anything but extra pounds — and you’re adding so much more! You’re going to start seeing what positive steps can do in terms of changes to your health and how good you feel, and that’s going to make those changes feel increasingly like the best thing you can do — and with each small measure of success, that reinforcement will help you recognize that every tiny step is in the right direction, and success looks better and better every day!

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in diet, obesity, Weight Loss, weight loss center | 0 comments

Proper Portion Size Key to Weight Management

CENTRALPASCO0903-300x225Whether you’re attempting to lose weight on your own or are working with trained professionals at a weight loss center, one of the keys is going to be figuring out ways to cut down the amount of calories from your normal daily caloric intake. Easier said than done, of course, but there are ways to help yourself continue to have enjoyable meals without packing in the calories as you might have in the past; one great tool we’ve found is taking advantage of the way your mind views a full plate.

There’s a tendency among people who are having trouble with weight management to look at a plate of food as a mountain climber looks at a distant peak: it’s something you’ve just got to finish, because, well, it’s there. But you can take that pattern of behavior and turn it on its ear simply by putting less on the plate. Changing how you think about portion sizing can be a huge help when trying to lose weight, and simply putting less on the plate is an amazingly powerful step.

Most people who “clean their plates” have little idea how many calories they’re really taking in, and nearly every restaurant on the planet has increased portion size in an attempt to lure in new customers. Bearing in mind you do need a certain amount of food to maintain your energy, also realize that this amount is far, far less than what’s served up at most restaurants — and when you serve yourself at home, don’t try to match what’s brought when you eat out.

Aim for a smaller portion size at every meal — just put less on the plate, and you’ll be surprised at how much less you eat. Here’s another trick: if you need a plate crammed with food, switch to smaller plates!

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in diet, lose weight, obesity, stress eating, Weight Loss, weight loss center, weight management | 0 comments