How can obesity impact a person health?

The problem of obesity is so alarming that several millions of USD is being spent on researches on the best way people can avoid it with minimum effort. It is even more alarming when the number of children becoming obsessed is put into consideration.

Currently more than 1 billion adults are overweight - and at least 300 million of them are clinically obese. According to WHO, “childhood obesity is already epidemic in some areas and on the rise in others. An estimated 22 million children under five are estimated to be overweight worldwide. According to the US Surgeon General, in the USA the number of overweight children has doubled and the number of overweight adolescents has trebled since 1980. The prevalence of obese children aged 6-to-11 years has more than doubled since the 1960s. Obesity prevalence in youths aged 12-17 has increased dramatically from 5% to 13% in boys and from 5% to 9% in girls between 1966-70 and 1988-91 in the USA. The problem is global and increasingly extends into the developing world; for example, in Thailand the prevalence of obesity in 5-to-12 year olds children rose from12.2% to 15-6% in just two years”.

The reason why this is so undesirable is because, obesity is the root cause of over 40 different illnesses and efforts to prevent it are not misplaced. Obesity can impact our health by increasing the risk of cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and digestive system diseases to name a few. The next few paragraphs look at some of the ways obesity negatively impacts on our health.

Blount's disease- Obesity is a known cause of Blount’s Disease which usually involves the lower extremities deformity mainly due to over bearing of body weight especially in bones that are still undergoing growth. However, this is one of the very minor problems of obesity.

Arthritis- Excessive weight bearing on the knee and ankle joints is a major cause of the wear and tear that occurs in joints. Any treatment of arthritis that fails to emphasis weight loss is usually an exercise in futility.

Pseudotumor cerebri- This is very rare and occurs in both teenagers and adults. It is characterized by increased intracranial pressure leading to severe headaches, vomiting and blurring of vision.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) - Obesity predisposes girls to development of cysts on the ovaries and they tend to miss their period. The hormonal changes in these kinds of people may lead to infertility. The cysts cause increase testosterone secretions which in many cases leads to hisuitism (increase hair growth in females- e.g. beards), worsening acne, and male-type baldness.

Diabetes- Obesity is the major cause of Type II or Non-insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus also known as adult diabetes. It is common in people from 40 years of age. When there is excess body fat, insulin sensitivity of the cells is impaired and less glucose is taken up by the body cells. This causes glucose accumulation in the blood and consequently diabetes. Other problems of obesity are slipped capital femoral epiphyses, asthma, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallstones formation, fatty liver, depression with low self esteem. Staying fit can sure avoid all of these problems and it is surely the way to go.

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