Overweight and obesity have become major health problems worldwide due to the escalating prevalence. It is estimated that 2.7 billion adults globally will be overweight or obese by 2025.
Facing weight problems? Take action before it's too late. Extensive research has linked obesity to many serious diseases. Annually, at least 2.8 million people die as a result of being overweight or obese. The good news is that even a modest weight loss (5-10% of total body weight) can confer health benefits.
Health Benefit #1: Lower the risk and progression of Osteoarthritis
Being overweight can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, where the smooth cartilage in the joints wears down as a result of wear and tear. Patients usually experience joint inflammation, pain and stiffness in their knees, hips, spine and hands.
Did you know that you would place an extra 30 - 60 pounds of force on your knees with a single step, for every 10 pounds of additional weight you carry? A moderate weight loss can reduce the pressure on your joints and help decrease your risk or ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Health Benefit #2: Potentially Stop Sleep Apnea
Studies have found that putting on extra weight elevates the likelihood of getting obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where the upper airways is obstructed during sleep, causing breathing to stop involuntarily for short time periods. Usually, symptoms include loud snoring, gasping during sleep, awakening with a headache, dry mouth or sore throat, lethargy and difficulty focusing throughout the day. What’s concerning is that sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke) when left untreated.
Overweight individuals tend to have extra tissue in the back of their oesophagus, which can obstruct the air flow into their lungs during sleep, leading to sleep apnea. Ten percent weight loss can improve the condition substantially or even stop sleep apnea completely.
Health Benefit #3: Improve Blood Glucose and Reduce risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Obesity raises your risk of type 2 diabetes significantly. Patients with type 2 diabetes have persistently high blood glucose level as a result of insulin resistance. When left untreated, it can result in health problems like heart disease, stroke and kidney damage.
In obese individuals, overworked fat cells become distressed as they are overloaded with excess calories. This stress stimulates inflammation which releases cytokines (obstruct the signals of insulin receptors, leading to insulin resistance). As such, a decrease in body fat through weight loss will enable you to better manage your diabetes. A 5-10 percent weight loss will enhance blood glucose level and reduce the risk of diabetes by 58%.
Health Benefit #4: Decrease chances of developing Heart Problems
Did you know that obesity puts a huge strain on your heart? The heart needs to work harder to pump blood around a larger body. In the long term, the heart muscles thicken, increasing the likelihood of developing heart failure and arrhythmias. Additionally, excess weight has been associated with higher “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower “good” HDL cholesterol. High LDL levels elevates your risk of a heart attack as LDL accumulates in the blood vessels, causing blockages. Thus, you are recommended to lose weight to lower your chances of developing heart problems.
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