Saturday, September 10, 2011

What is Obesity?

Obesity refers to an excessive amount of body fat. There is, however, a distinction between being obese and being overweight. Someone who is overweight may benefit from losing a few extra pounds, while an obese person has large amounts of extra body fat that puts them at risk for serious health problems.

Obesity health problems are on the increase annually in the United States. While obesity is not considered a diagnosable eating disorder, it has been acknowledged as one of the most dangerous health problems confronting public health professionals today.

Statistically, obesity affects as many as 34 percent of American adults, however, what makes this trend anything but normal are the potentially devastating health, social and emotional implications associated with obesity.

Although body fat is essential for storing energy, insulating the body and protecting important body organs, excessive amounts can lead to serious obesity health problems and increased mortality rates.

Health Consequences of Obesity

An estimated 300,000 deaths per year in the U.S have been attributed to obesity. Even a moderate amount of excess fat (especially around the abdominal area) has been linked to increased mortality rates. People suffering from obesity are more likely than others to suffer from medical complications. Obesity health problems include: 
● Heart disease 
● Type 2 diabetes 
● Elevated cholesterol levels 
● Decreased blood oxygen levels 
● Decreased testosterone levels 
● Certain cancers including: 
● Breast cancer 
● Colon cancer 
● Endometrial cancer 
● Esophageal cancer 
● Gall bladder cancer 
● Kidney cancer 
● Ovarian cancer 
● Prostate cancer  
● Uterine cancer 
● Pancreatic cancer 
● Asthma 
● Snoring 
● Obstructive sleep apnea 
● Osteoarthritis 
● Cataracts 
● Erectile dysfunction 
● Impotence 
● Loss of libido 
● Infertility 
● Irregular menstrual cycles 
● Pregnancy and birth complications 
● Incontinence 
● Tinnitus 
● Reduced immune system function 
● Swollen joints and fluid retention 
● Muscular aches and pains 
● Mechanical injuries such as sprained ankles, sunken arches, and strain on 
the knees 
● Gout


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