What Are The Risks Associated With Obesity – Medically Reviewed by Angela M. Bell, MD, FACP – By Jacquelyn Cafasso – Updated April 15, 2022
Of the American population. People living with obesity have a higher chance of developing a number of serious medical issues.
What Are The Risks Associated With Obesity
Check out this infographic to find out how obesity affects different parts of your body.
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Being overweight or obese greatly increases your risk of stroke, which occurs when blood stops flowing to your brain.
Fat stored around the neck can make the airway too small, which can make breathing difficult at night. This condition is called sleep apnea. Breathing may stop for short periods in people with sleep apnea.
Obesity has been associated with an increased risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD occurs when stomach acid leaks into the esophagus.
In addition, obesity increases the risk of developing gallstones. This is when bile collects and hardens in the gallbladder. This may require surgery.
Health Risks For People Living With Obesity
Fat can also accumulate around the liver and lead to liver damage, scar tissue and even liver failure.
In obese people, the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body. This leads to high blood pressure, or hypertension. High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke.
High blood pressure can make the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart hard and narrow. Hardened arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure can also cause chronic kidney disease.
Obesity can also make the body’s cells resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that transports sugar from your blood into your cells, where it is used for energy.
Once Weekly Tirzepatide For Obesity
If you are insulin resistant, cells cannot take up sugar, leading to high blood sugar. This increases a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a condition where blood sugar is too high. Type 2 diabetes is linked to a number of other health issues, including heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and blindness.
Obesity can make it harder for someone to get pregnant. It has also been linked to a drop in testosterone levels, which can make it harder to get pregnant.
Obesity can cause a decrease in bone density and muscle mass. This is called osteosarcopenic obesity. Osteosarcopenic obesity can lead to increased risk of fracture, physical disability, insulin resistance, and poorer overall health outcomes.
A rash can occur when the skin of the body fat folds. A condition known as acanthosis nigricans can also occur.
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Acanthosis nigricans is characterized by discoloration and thickening of the skin in the folds and creases of your body. It has also been linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Acanthosis nigricans darkens skin folds. It can be an early sign of diabetes. Vandana Mehta Rai MD DNB, C Balachandran MD, CC BY-SA 3.0. Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition that causes darkening of the skin where the skin folds. People with obesity and diabetes can develop this condition. MIA Studio/Shutterstock
Obesity has been linked to several different mental health conditions among different populations. People with obesity may be more likely to have:
What Are The Health Risks Of Overweight And Obesity?
One way to address these issues is by focusing on positive interventions, such as relaxation techniques and self-empowerment skills to improve mood and reduce depression, anxiety, internal tension, worry and stress.
Obesity affects almost every part of the body. If you are living with obesity, you can treat or control many of these risk factors with a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
Your current weight can reduce your risk of developing these health problems. Talk to your doctor about losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
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Childhood Obesity Infographic
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Health Risk Factors
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Received: 17 March 2021 / Revised: 13 April 2021 / Accepted: 14 April 2021 / Published: 17 April 2021
Emerging data suggest that obesity is a major risk factor for the progression of major complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), cytokine storm, and coagulopathy in COVID-19. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the association between obesity and disease severity as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection is essential for the development of new therapeutic interventions and preventive measures in this high-risk group. We propose that multiple characteristics of obesity contribute to the incidence of severe COVID-19 and complications. First, viral entry may be facilitated by up-regulation of viral entry receptors, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), among others. Second, obesity-induced chronic inflammation and disruptions in insulin and leptin signaling may lead to impaired viral clearance and an asymmetric or hyperinflammatory response, which together with elevated ferritin levels may be a direct cause of ARDS and the cytokine storm. Third, the negative consequences of obesity on blood coagulation can contribute to the development of thrombus formation and hemorrhage. In this review we first summarize the clinical findings on the association between obesity and disease severity of COVID-19 and then further discuss potential mechanisms that may explain the risk for major complications in obese patients.
Obesity In The United States
The new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan is still causing a global pandemic with a death toll that already exceeds 2,430,000 people and continues to grow daily (a number from John Hopkins University). SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19, a clinical picture characterized by fever, cough, muscle pain and fatigue and can evolve into hyperinflammation, cytokine storm, ARDS and COVID-associated coagulopathy (CAC) [1, 2]. A large number of critically ill patients with COVID-19 arrive at the ICU overweight or obese . These conditions, in addition to smoking, age, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, appear to be major risk factors for severe complications and increased mortality in patients with COVID-19 [4, 5, 6].
Understanding the factors that contribute to the severity of the disease of COVID-19 and complications in the context of obesity is of key importance for the development of therapeutic interventions as well as for the development of preventive strategies in this high-risk group. Therefore, in this review we first summarize the clinical findings on obesity and the consequences of COVID-19 disease. Next, we discuss potential underlying mechanisms linking obesity to major disease complications resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here we focus on the metabolic and immune consequences associated with obesity in the course of the disease of COVID-19.
The prevalence of obesity has increased worldwide over the past 50 years. In 2015, the average prevalence of obesity among adults from selected countries was 19.5% and ranged from 3.7% in Japan to 38.2% in the United States . Obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m
) is a major risk factor for the development of non-communicable diseases and is defined by the World Health Organization as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that can harm health .
Obesity And Infectious Diseases: Pathophysiology And Epidemiology Of A Double Pandemic Condition
Adipose or adipose tissue, initially considered a simple energy storage organ, is currently considered one of the most important endocrine organs [ 9 , 10 , 11 ]. Fat cells, or adipocytes, produce cytokine-like hormones, called adipokines, which play a major role in metabolism and inflammation . Adipocytes in different regions perform different functions. Distinctions must be made between brown and white fat, between ectopic and anectopic adipose tissue, and between visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue in order to accurately assess the effect of adipose tissue on patient health. For example, visceral fat, but not so much subcutaneous fat accumulation, promotes systemic inflammation and is associated with impairments in glucose and lipid metabolism along with insulin resistance [ 12 , 13 , 14 ].
Obesity is associated with chronic
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