Obesity is a serious epidemic in the U.S., and affects more than one-third of all Americans. At Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers, our goal is to help our patients not just lose weight, but build their health and extend their longevity in the process. We fully believe that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can promote other positive changes throughout the body, and help increase an individual’s lifespan as well as healthspan — the period of life characterized by optimal health.
Evidence shows that those who suffer from obesity are twice as likely to experience major health problems and die prematurely, compared to individuals with a healthy weight. Obesity can have direct negative effects on functions throughout the body — including cognition, sexual libido, and hormone levels — and increases the risk of a number of life-threatening conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Take a look at the following six ways your weight can affect your health. If you suffer from or are at risk of any of the following conditions, the sooner you can get help with weight loss, the sooner you can improve your overall health and benefit from a longer, more fulfilling, life.
1. Cardiovascular health
People who are obese are roughly six times more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than their leaner counterparts. That’s because their hearts are being forced to work harder at delivering blood and oxygen to cells, tissue, and other organs throughout the body. Obesity has been linked to poor cardiovascular health and a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular events.
Roughly 90 percent of people who have type 2 diabetes are also obese. This is because many individuals who are overweight tend to eat foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, which leads to insulin resistance. Fortunately, many cases of type 2 diabetes can be reversed with improved nutrition, exercise, and weight loss.
3. Cognitive performance
Since excess weight can interfere with healthy blood flow and circulation, those who suffer from obesity are more prone to developing cognitive problems such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Excess weight can also affect concentration and problem solving, and impede healthy brain development in children and teens. Studies also show that obesity is linked to higher rates of mental health disorders, impulsive behavior, and substance use disorders.
Being overweight or obese significantly shortens your lifespan due to the extra stress being placed on your organs. Studies have found that a person’s risk for premature death increases by as much as 250 percent if their BMI is between 40 and 50. But losing excess weight can improve your physical and psychological health, and help you live a longer life with fewer health complications.
5. Sexual health
Evidence shows that obese people with a BMI of 40 and above are 24 times more likely to experience problems with sexual health. Excess weight impedes blood flow and circulation, which can decrease your sexual libido and upset your body’s natural hormonal imbalance, often leading to fertility issues. Obese women are often at a higher risk of experiencing irregular menstrual periods and conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, which can lead to even more weight gain.
Stress and obesity are closely linked in that either condition can easily trigger the other. Stress triggers the body’s release of cortisol — a hormone that interferes with the way your body uses energy and stores fat, and that increases cravings for junk foods. Lack of sleep can also put your body under stress, and trigger further weight gain and obesity.
Need help cleaning up your diet, losing weight, and achieving better overall health? Garcia Weight Loss offers personalized weight-loss programs designed to help you look and feel your best. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on January 5, 2018