9 Health Hazards of Obesity

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Obesity is the physical state that causes constant anxiety. It not only shortens the life span of a person but makes his life miserable by causing many grave diseases such as high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and diabetes. Obesity adversely affect efficiency of a person. Obesity is that state of the body in which weight of the body is higher, at least by 10% than the ideal weight . If the weight is higher by 20% it is the state of morbid obesity. It is an undisputable fact that the hazards associated with obesity are directly proportional to the amount of accumulated fat.

Ideal weight is that which increases a person’s longevity. Some charts have different columns for people with different types of body frames . Ideal weight is classified under three such columns: small frame, medium frame and large frame.

9 Health Hazards of Obesity
9 Health Hazards of Obesity
Health Hazards of Obesity :

Obesity affects different organs and systems of the human body i.e.

  1. Muscles :- 

    Muscles of a fat person are soft and weak. Even when a person is not engaged in any physical activity, some of the fibres of his muscles are in the contracted state. A fat person consumes more energy for doing any physical work. This affects his efficiency. It is no wonder that a fat person gets breathless after the slightest physical exertion. Therefore , fat persons are generally found to be lazy or inactive.

  2. Joints and bones :-

    Fat person complaint of severe pain in the feet or soles which are crushed under the weight of their heavy bodies. Fat persons also suffer from flat feet. Similarly, weight bearing joints like the ankles, hips and the spinal cord are also strained constantly on account of the heavy weight they have to carry. As the muscles of a fat person are weak, their joints are not adequately supported . This is the main reason why fat persons often complaint of chronic backache.

  3. The Cardiovascular system :-

    The level of cholesterol is high in the blood of fat person. With the passage of time, this cholesterol gets deposited on the inner surface of the blood vessels. As a result of this, blood vessels, not only become hard and narrow, but also lose their elasticity. High blood pressure is also associated with obesity.

  4. The Respiratory System :-

    The act of breathing involves the movement of several parts of the chest and stomach. Two types of muscles are mainly responsible for this: (a) some muscles of the chest and (b) the diaphragm. When a fat person breaths, he has to lift his heavy chest every time, and besides this, he also finds it difficult to push the diaphragm towards the fat stuffed belly and stomach. It is because of this that a fat person gets tired and breathless easily.

  5. The Digestive System:-

    It has been noticed that the proportion of cholesterol is high in the blood of fat person. This high cholesterol causes stone formation in the gall- bladder. The liver too is adversely affected by obesity. It has been found that degenerative diseases of the liver and cirrhosis of liver strike obese person more often.

  6. The Reproductive System 

    The married life of obese persons is often a tragic tale. The extra fat in their body adversely affects their nerves and endocrine glands. Fat women suffer from menorrhagia, infertility and several other disorders of menstruation. Obesity creates many problems during pregnancy also.

  7. The Excretory System:-

    Degenerative changes in the kidneys occur more severely and early in obese persons. Fat people perspire profusely. There are two reasons for this: (1) A fat person has to spend a lot of energy to do any physical work (2) Layers of fat deposited on the body act as woollen jackets or sweaters and cause profuse perspiration which emits a foul odour. Such foul- smelling sweat causes great embarrassment to fat people.

  8. Obesity and Cancer:-

    Possibilities of developing cancer are directly proportional to overweight. This fact applies particularly to those who are aged above 45. The rate of cancer was noticed to be higher by 10% among those who were obese. Compared to normal women, overweight women are more prone to cancer of the brest, the oesophagus and reproductive organs in general and the uterus in particular. Those men who are overweight by 40% are more prone to cancer of the intestine and the rectum.

  9. Obesity and Surgery:- 

    A lot of contemplation is required on the part of a surgeon before he performs an operation on a fat patient. It is indeed very difficult to locate the affected part of the body that is hidden under the mass of fat and then to perform an operation on it. The surgeon begins to perspire even in an air conditioned operation theatre during such an operation.

Causes of Obesity:-

Obesity is mainly a problem of the affluent society. It is the result of excess consumption of sweet and processed food accompanied by the lack of adequate physical activity.

There are two terms which are closely associated with food. They are hunger and appetite. These are different concepts. There is a difference in their meaning. Hunger is generated by the body mechanism or by the digestive system. It manifests itself through two symptoms: (1) by hunger contractions of the stomach or (2) by saliva secretion in the month. On the other hand appetite is a psychological concept. It depends on a person’s knowledge about food and its smell, colour etc. Sometimes a person tends to eat even if he is not hungry.

Some people eat not only to satisfy their hunger, but sometimes to enjoy and relish tasty dishes. Constant activity of eating gives some mental peace to a person.

The role of genetic factors in obesity – (1) If both the parents are fat 73% of their children are also fat .

(2) If one of the parents is fat 45% of their children are fat.

(3) If both the parents are of normal weight only 9% children appear to be fat.

Psychological and social factors in obesity – Once obesity takes its roots in the body a person beings to consider himself different from others and tends to be lonely.

Gains of removing obesity:-

(1) Psychological and social gains :- Generally fat persons do not enjoy proper social acceptability. They are often made targets of fun and ridicule. Once the obesity vanishes, they start acquiring a respectable position in the society. In matrimonial matters, a fat girl has little prospects, but with her obesity gone, her prospects improve dramatically. This yields a rich psychological gain. The inferiority complex caused by obesity starts disappearing.

(2) Physical gains:- 

An important gain made by losing weight is that a person’s life-expectancy rises to its normal level. Sheeding excess fat restores a person ‘s lost health and beauty that had been robbed away. The body becomes light and bubbling with spirit, cheerfulness and enthusiasm. Chances of developing grave diseases like high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes etc. are reduced.

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