Did you know that obesity is a severe concern in the United States? In truth, roughly 35% of American adults are overweight, according to the CDC. That’s a lot of people!
If you’re one of them or know someone who is, it’s essential to understand what obesity is and its effects on your health. Here’s what you need to know about obesity.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is more than just being fat. It is a clinical diagnosis that has been researched for years. Essentially people who are obese are carrying too much body fat. This can be harmful to their health in a variety of ways and lead to other chronic diseases.
What Causes Obesity?
There is no one answer to this question as obesity has many causes. But here are the most common:
Interestingly enough, obesity can be hereditary. This is because genes can affect how the body stores fat. So, if your parents or grandparents were obese, you may also be more likely to be. Your environment can also play a significant role in obesity.
The environment around you can increase your risk for obesity. This is especially true if you live in an area with limited access to healthy food options or safe places to exercise. Additionally, some research suggests that exposure to certain chemicals can lead to weight gain.
Of course, diet is a huge factor when it comes to obesity. If you consume too many calories and not enough nutrients, you’re at risk of becoming obese. Sugar is the prime example here. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Lack of Exercise
You’re also more likely to become obese if you don’t get enough exercise. That’s because when you don’t burn off the calories you consume, they get stored as fat.
Lastly, there’s a strong link between mental health and obesity. Conditions like depression and anxiety can force people to eat more to cope.
So now you know that obesity doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. It’s a string of different causes that occur in your life. So how does it exactly affect your health?
How Does Obesity Impact Your Health?
Carrying too much body fat can lead to a variety of health problems. Here are the most common:
Too much body fat can lead to diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease when your blood sugar is too high. This can damage your kidneys, heart, and other organs. It can also lead to blindness.
Dealing with diabetes means dealing with obesity, so reduce your weight and change your diet.
Obesity can also lead to heart disease. That’s because carrying too much body fat puts extra strain on your heart. This can damage your blood vessels and lead to conditions like stroke and heart attack.
Arthritis is another common health problem caused by obesity. When you’re carrying too much weight, it puts extra pressure on your joints. This can lead to pain and inflammation. If you want to decrease your chance of having arthritis while being obese, start living an active life. For example, walk or run whenever you can or do some sports. Additionally, join a gym and work with a trainer to develop your exercise routine.
Not many people know this but obesity can also lead to oral cancer and the lack of teeth. That’s because carrying too much body fat can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to cancer-causing viruses and bacteria. If you want to deal with this, ensure to change your diet. For example, reducing sugar can reduce the chance of oral cancer. Additionally, always get tooth replacement services for any teeth you lose. This reduces the chances of oral infection, which can lead to cancer.
How to Reduce Your Chances of Obesity?
While obesity has many causes, there are also many ways to prevent it. Here are some tips:
Change Your Diet
One of the best things you can do is change your diet. This means reducing your intake of processed foods and sugary drinks. Instead, focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. These foods will help you feel full while providing your body with the necessary nutrients.
Another great way to reduce your risk of obesity is to get active. Exercise helps you burn off calories and improve your overall health. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can make a big difference. So find an activity you enjoy and stick with it.
Manage Your Stress
Lastly, don’t forget to manage your stress. Stress can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating. If you’re feeling stressed, take some time for yourself and do something you enjoy. This can be anything from reading a book to going for a walk.
Obesity is a complex problem with many different causes. But by making healthier choices, you can reduce your risk of becoming obese. So change your diet, get active, and manage your stress. These simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your health.