Obesity: Symptoms and Their Effects


Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A crude population measure of obesity is the body mass index (a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in meters). Overweight and obesity are major risk factors when people eat more calories than they burn off; their bodies store the extra calories as fat. for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20 percent or more over an individual's ideal body weight. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of illness, disability, and death. It may be simply an extreme degree of overweight - but a person can be overweight without being obese.

Symptoms of Obesity

Adiposity (fat cells) in the breast region in boys

Large abdomen (white or purple marks are sometimes present)

Increased adiposity in the upper arms and thighs.

Accumulation of excess fat below the diaphragm and in the chest wall may put pressure on the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath, even with minimal exertion.

There is indigestion aggravated by so much abdominal fat. Urinary incontinence is an often undisclosed but embarrassing symptom, particularly for women, and is very common for the obese. Snoring and sleep apnoea have a strong association with abdominal obesity

Strain on the weight bearing joints.

Extra body fat

High blood pressure

Heart and blood vessel problems, such as stroke and coronary heart disease

Health effects of obesity

Heart Disease-The risk of heart attack, congestive heart failure, sudden cardiac death, and angina or chest pain is increased in persons who are overweight or obese. High blood pressure is twice as common in adults who are obese than in those who are at a healthy weight. Obesity is associated with high triglycerides and decreased HDL cholesterol.
Cancers-Obesity is associated with an increased risk for some types of cancer including endometrial (cancer of the lining of the uterus), colon, gall bladder, prostate, kidney, and post-menopausal breast cancer. Women gaining more than 20 pounds from age 18 to midlife double their risk of post-menopausal breast cancer, compared to women whose weight remains stable.
Health Risk of Arthritis-Osteoarthritis is a painful degenerative joint disorder that has been called "wear and tear”. Arthritis since it is caused by physical stress on joints. It most often affects knees, hips, and lower back vertebrae. Extra weight can place pressure on these joints, accelerating the wearing away of the cartilage that normally protects them. Gout is a joint disease, but it is caused by high levels of uric acid. Uric acid can form crystal deposits in the joints, causing pain and inflammation.
Psychosocial effects - In a culture where often the ideal of physical attractiveness is to be overly thin, people who are overweight or obese frequently suffer disadvantages. Overweight and obese persons are often blamed for their condition and may be considered to be lazy or weak-willed. It is not uncommon for overweight or obese conditions to result in persons having lower incomes or having fewer or no romantic relationships. Disapproval of overweight persons expressed by some individuals may progress to bias, discrimination, and even torment.

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