Obesity and its After Effects

22 January, 2019

With so many delicious temptations abounding, it’s so easy to pack on the calories, but when it comes to shedding off this same weight, it can be nothing short of a major challenge. Obesity is on the rise the world over, with a world epidemic blooming, even in the less developed countries. Unfortunately, children are also being sucked up into this spiraling vortex, and what’s worse is that childhood obesity has more than doubled in young children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years.

Unhealthy lifestyles are to blame with fast food becoming hugely popular along with the sedentary couch potato attitudes. After a long day spent sitting at a desk, people are opting to go home with take-away dinners and lounge in front of the TV or some other screen and nosh on calorie-laden junk. With fast food becoming cheap and available everywhere, it’s easy to pack on the pounds, but then come the nightmarish diseases that are the aftereffects of obesity. Here is a list of some of the aftereffects of being overweight:

Circulatory problems – These include hypertension, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis and irregular heartbeats that eventually increase chances of heart attacks, heart failure, blood clots, peripheral artery disease, swellings, and even some cancers.

Musculoskeletal problems – With the excessive body weight, it’s very common for obese people to develop low back pain, vertebral disc disease and even arthritis of the hips, knees or ankles.

Respiratory problems – These include asthma, apnea, pulmonary embolism and pulmonary hypertension.

Gastrointestinal problems – Side-effects such as reflux disease, esophageal or colon cancers, polyps, cirrhosis, gallstones, fatty liver disease and gallbladder issues can all result from obesity.

Pancreas problems – A high BMI can result in pancreatitis, type II diabetes or even pancreatic cancer.

Reproductive problems – Overweight women can experience irregular menstruation as well as face problems in getting pregnant. Infertility, polycystic ovarian disease and even some cancers including cancers of the breast, ovaries, endometrium or cervix, are the lot for obese women. Men aren’t far behind, with obesity leading to erectile dysfunction, infertility and prostate cancers.

Urological problems – Obesity could lead to diabetic kidney disease or even kidney cancers.

Neurological problems – In the presence of abnormal distribution of fat in obese people, there is an increased incidence of headaches, dementia, stroke, vision loss (due to diabetic complications), diabetic neuropathy or false brain tumors.

Psychological problems – Obese people are prone to episodes of anxiety, stress, depression as well as eating disorders. They are usually the target of jokes related to their overweight condition and prefer to isolate themselves socially, leading to psychological problems. Irrespective of their age, they are often bullied, sometimes even by family members, and hence suffer from a low sense of self-esteem.

Sleep problems – Many obese people have sleep problems too, leading to distressing conditions like sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes and obesity itself! Those who sleep less than 5 hours a night have 15% more chance to gain weight. Fat around the neck can lead to sleep apnea and this can lead to lower blood oxygen levels, making the heart to work even harder.