Obesity poses many health problems and is gaining the attention of governmental authorities due to the cost of obesity. Many serious health conditions including type-2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stoke and certain cancers have been linked to obesity. Studies have shown that males who are obese are more likely to develop colon, prostate, and rectal cancer and women who are obese are more likely to develop cervical, uterine, or ovarian cancers. Esophageal cancer has also been connected to obesity in studies.
There are many diseases and health issues that have been linked to obesity including fatty liver disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, osteoarthritis, gout, breathing problems such as apnea and menstrual irregularities and infertility issues. Many doctors believe that the more obese an individual is, the higher the risk they have of health problems.
Individuals with a BMI of 40 or greater are considered to be extremely obese and these individuals have the highest risk for health problems.
Your doctor will recommend that you do everything possible to lose weight if you have a BMI of 29 or higher and two or more of the following factors:
Family history of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, or diabetes
Preexisting medical conditions of high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol levels, low HDL cholesterol levels, high triglycerides, or high blood glucose can all be warning signs of obesity-associated diseases to come. These warning signs should be taken seriously and those who have two or more should be especially careful about weight. The good news is that if a person who is overweight or obese loses even 5 to 10% of body weight they can improve their health risk. By lowering blood pressure, or delay or prevent the development of type-2 diabetes. This delay or prevention has been seen in studies where individuals with the condition called, “pre-diabetes” were able to lose weight by diet and exercise.
Doctors treat obesity with a combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, behavior modification, and if necessary weight-loss medications. When extreme obesity is the case, bariatric surgery may even be recommended.
In order to stay healthy, the weight loss treatment must be a lifelong endeavor. There must be a change in behavior and a commitment to healthy eating and to regular exercise.
Behavior modification means changing how you think, feel and act regarding food and exercise. You must have a plan for weight loss, set realistic short-term goals, avoid food triggers, and keep a food and activity diary so that you can record and remember your improvements and celebrate them. You should also keep track of your blood pressure readings, your blood cholesterol levels and your overall measurements and fitness levels.