World Obesity Day 2022: The World Health Organisation (WHO) notes that about 2.8 million people die annually due to obesity and excessive body weight. Obesity has been on the rise due to poor dietary choices, sedentary lifestyles, genetic issues and psychological, economic, environmental and cultural factors. Obesity is one of the key contributors to heart problems. World Obesity Day is observed annually on March 4 to create awareness about the disease, which has become an epidemic that affects billions of people across the globe. In this article, we highlight five health risks associated with obesity.
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Even though hypertension or high blood pressure can occur in non-obese people, obesity increases the chances of developing hypertension. Excess accumulation of fat in the blood vessels leads to elevation of blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure can damage the kidney, the eyes, cause dementia and heart failure.
- Cardiac diseases
Obesity is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease or disease of the heart and blood vessels. Obesity is linked to an increase in triglycerides, bad cholesterol levels and a decrease in good cholesterol. Obese people are also likely to develop diabetes. All of these factors increase the chances of heart disease and stroke.
Obese patients are at risk of developing type II diabetes due to insulin resistance that occurs due to a rise in fatty acid build-up and inflammation. Diabetes devastates kidneys, eyes, feet, ears and the heart, among other organs.
Excess body weight puts a strain on the soft tissues and the weight-bearing joints like hip, knee and ankle joints. The tendons and ligaments become weak, and the cartilage, which cushions the joints, breaks down faster. Obesity can also change the curvature of the spine due to pressure from excess weight.
- Sleep apnea
Overweight and obese people are at risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. During sleep, the soft tissues of our mouth and throat become relaxed, and breathing gets temporarily cut off. In obese people, the airways in the upper respiratory tract become narrow due to excess fat deposits.
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