Watch out for these 8 health consequences of overweight and obesity

Overweight and obesity are conditions that if not controlled, it could lead to life threatening diseases.

1 High Blood pressure (Hypertension)
Blood pressure simply put is the pressure applied by blood on the arteries by the heart due to its pumping action. High blood pressure has many causes. But it is evident that overweight and obesity are one of those factors that cause High blood pressure. When you are overweight or obese, this additional fatty tissue needs more nutrients and oxygen to survive. The heart therefore has to do more work than is required to pump blood all over the body. This increase means more pressure on the walls of the arteries leading to high blood pressure. In addition to this, when overweight, it takes more pressure to pump blood to all the parts of the body. Furthermore, when plaque builds up around the walls of the arteries, they become narrower than before and it becomes harder for the heart to pump blood though the narrow vessels causing High blood pressure.

2 Stroke
The risk of having stroke increases with an increase in BMI. When you are overweight, a lot of fat gets deposited around the walls of your arteries. This buildup of fats is called plaque. In the event that this plaque gets dislodged from the walls of the arteries, a blood clot can occur at that point. If this blood clot occurs around you brain, it can limit the amount of blood that is being supplied to your brain causing a stroke.

3 Coronary heart disease (CHD)
When you consume more than is required, most of the leftovers are converted into fats and cholesterol and stored under your skin. While in your arteries, this fats, cholesterol and other deposits form plaque and are stored around the walls of your arteries. This plaque slowly builds up and hardens your arteries making it less flexible. The process of this buildup of plaque in the arteries is called atherosclerosis.  It this build up takes place in the coronary arteries, it will narrow the arteries and reduce the amount of blood flow to the heart and muscles of the heart. This can cause angina, heart disease, heart attack or worst still heart failure.

4 Type 2 Diabetes
There are many risk factors for type 2 diabetes such as race, certain medication, family history but overweight and obesity are the two leading causes of type 2 diabetes. About 90 % of people who have type 2 diabetes are either overweight or obese.
Diabetes is a term used to describe a condition whereby the blood sugar or glucose is higher than normal. Some of the foods we eat are broken down into glucose. There are special cells that turn this glucose into energy with the use of a chemical called insulin. People who are overweight or obese have added stress on their body cells to convert glucose into energy. This adds more pressure on the body’s ability to be able to use insulin properly. As a result, much of the glucose in the blood remains unconverted. This can lead to diabetes.

5 Joint pain
Overweight and obesity can put extra pressure on joints. This is because the body is not able to carry the weight of the body. Extra weight can also wear the joints of the body causing a breakdown of cartilage and bones within a joint causing osteoarthritis.

6 High triglyceride and high blood cholesterol levels (dyslipidemia)
When you are overweight or obese, you are at risk for having high levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein, LDL) and having low levels of good cholesterol ( High density lipoprotein, HDL). High triglyceride and LDL make you at risk of developing coronary heart disease.

7 Sleep apnea and loud snoring
Sleep apnea is a condition in which you have pauses in you breathing while you sleep. This condition disrupts your sleep without you being aware of it. Most at times it is your roommate or family member who tell you of your condition. When you are obese and overweight, fat is stored around your neck making breathing difficult because your airway is narrow. Most often it results in loud snores and a transition from deep to shallow sleep.

8 Gall stones
Gall stones are small rock like masses that develop in the gall bladder. Gall stones are formed when substances in bile hardens and turn into solids. Bile is a fluid stored in the gall bladder that aids in digestion. This gall stones are mostly made up of cholesterol.

Other consequences of being overweight or obese include
  • Limited range in body flexibility.
  •  Difficulty in performing simple physical activities such as walking.
  • Some cancers such as gallbladder, breast, endometrial and colon cancers.
  • Social discrimination like being forced to pay for two seats when taking a bus.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Metabolic syndrome, a term used to refer to a group of conditions that make one at risk for developing heart disease.

Pasquet P1Temgoua LSMelaman-Sego FFroment ARikong-Adié H. Prevalence for overweight and obesity for urban adults in Cameroon

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