Physical and mental health related problems associated with obesity

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From a medical perspective, an obese person has accumulated enough body fat that it can have a negative effect on their health. If a person's weight is at least 20% higher than it should be, he/she is generally considered obese. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 you are considered overweight.[1] If your BMI is 30 or over you are considered obese.[2] The term obese can also used in a more general way to indicate someone who is overweight.[3]

Contents

Causes of obesity

Two of the major risk factors for becoming obese according to the Mayo Clinic are poor dietary choices and inactivity.[4] Most individuals are overweight due to their dietary and exercise habits.[5]

Symptoms of obesity and excess weight

Some of the medical conditions associated with obesity include: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, arthritis, cancer, sleep apnea, reproductive problems in women and varicose veins.[6] According to the National Cancer Institute, "obesity is associated with increased risks of cancers of the esophagus, breast (postmenopausal), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), colon and rectum, kidney, pancreas, thyroid, gallbladder, and possibly other cancer types."[7] In addition, medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[8]

Medical research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[9]

According to the Mayo Clinic some of the symptoms associated with obesity can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pain in your back or joints
  • Excessive sweating
  • Always feeling hot
  • Rashes or infection in folds of your skin
  • Feeling out of breath with minor exertion
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue

Some other problems associated with obesity include:

  • Negative effects on lung function/respiratory disease: According to Harvard University's School of Public Health: "Excess weight impairs respiratory function via mechanical and metabolic pathways. The accumulation of abdominal fat, for example, may limit the descent of the diaphragm, and in turn, lung expansion, while the accumulation of visceral fat can reduce the flexibility of the chest wall, sap respiratory muscle strength, and narrow airways in the lungs. Cytokines generated by the low-grade inflammatory state that accompanies obesity may also impede lung function."[11]
  • Infertility problems in men and men.[12]
  • Feet/ankles problems: According to Stuart D. Miller, M.D.: "It is important for the public to know that obesity isn't just an aesthetic issue, but a contributing cause of musculoskeletal health problems, specifically with the feet and ankles."[13]
  • Lower levels of balance recovery and increased risk of falls: In her thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, entitled A modeling investigation of obesity and balance recovery, Sara Louise Matrangola writes in the abstract: "Obesity is associated with an increased risk of falls and subsequent injury. Previous studies have shown weight loss and strength training to be beneficial to balance, but knowing which is more beneficial will allow researchers to design interventions to maximize the benefits in terms of balance and reducing risk of falls."[14]
  • Increased morbidity risk.[17]

Obesity and increases in cancer risk

The South China Morning Post reported that according the British medical journal Lancet:

Each five kg/m {+2} increase in BMI was clearly linked with higher risk of cancers of the uterus (62 per cent increase), gallbladder (31 per cent), kidney (25 per cent), cervix (10 per cent), thyroid (9 per cent), and leukemia (9 per cent)," said the statement. Higher BMI also increased the risk of cancer of the liver (19 per cent), colon (10 per cent), ovaries (9 per cent) and breast (5 per cent), although the effect on these types was influenced by other factors."[18]

According to Cancer Risk UK, "More than one in three people in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime".[19]

Obesity and Alzheimer's disease

See also: Obesity and Alzheimer's disease

A PET scan of the brain of an individual with Alzheimer's disease reveals a loss of function in the temporal lobe.

In 2005, WebMD published:

People with diabetes are at particularly high risk of Alzheimer's disease. But now there's strong evidence that people with high insulin levels -- long before they get diabetes -- already are on the road to Alzheimer's disease.

As the body becomes more and more overweight, it becomes more and more resistant to the blood-sugar-lowering effects of insulin. To counter this insulin resistance, the body keeps making more insulin...

Insulin Triggers Amyloid Buildup

High insulin levels are known to cause blood vessels to become inflamed....

One dangerous effect of this insulin-caused brain inflammation is increased brain levels of beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is the twisted protein that's the main ingredient in the sticky plaques that clog the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

"What was striking was the magnitude of the effect," Craft tells WebMD. "Inflammation can be a result of amyloid elevations but can also create an environment in which amyloid is made more readily. Inflammation can be both the result and cause of amyloid production."[20]

A 2009 health report on a medical study indicated:

They compared the brain scan of 94 people in their 70s who were obese & overweight. They found that the obese had lost tissue in the frontal & temporal lobes areas critical for planning & memory. Declines were also seen in areas used for attention & executive functions, long term memory & movement

A neurologist Professor Paul Thompson said, “That's a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain. But you can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer's if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control.”M[21]

Health effects of Alzheimer's disease

An animation of a human left temporal lobe (right is side similar).

(photo obtained from Wikimedia commons, see: license agreement)

Alzheimer's disease is "characterised by loss of neurons and synapses in the cerebral cortex and certain subcortical regions. This loss results in gross atrophy of the affected regions, including degeneration in the temporal lobe and parietal lobe, and parts of the frontal cortex and cingulate gyrus.[22] Some of the primary symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are: memory problems, mood swings, emotional outbursts, brain stem damage which impairs function in the heart, lungs plus causes disruption of various other bodily processes.[23]

An abstract of the medical study entitled Measures to Assess the Noncognitive Symptoms of Dementia in the Primary Care Setting by Brent P. Forester, M.D. and Thomas E. Oxman, M.D. inidcated "Noncognitive symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias include psychosis, mood disturbances, personality changes, agitation, aggression, pacing, wandering, altered sexual behavior, changed sleep patterns, and appetite disturbances. These noncognitive symptoms of dementia are common, disabling to both the patient and the caregiver, and costly."[24]

According to the Center for Neuro Skills:

Kolb & Wishaw (1990) have identified eight principle symptoms of temporal lobe damage: 1) disturbance of auditory sensation and perception, 2) disturbance of selective attention of auditory and visual input, 3) disorders of visual perception, 4) impaired organization and categorization of verbal material, 5) disturbance of language comprehension, 6) impaired long-term memory, 7) altered personality and affective behavior, 8) altered sexual behavior.[25]

Obesity, Alzheimer's disease and prevention

See also: Alzheimer's disease and prevention

Weili Xu, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, declared: "Our results contribute to the growing evidence that controlling body weight or losing weight in middle age could reduce your risk of dementia".[26]

For more information please see: Alzheimer's disease and prevention

Increased morbidity risk

On September 2, 2014, the New York Times wrote concerning Britain:

In high-income countries, excess weight is the third-leading risk factor in death. The importance of addressing this was brought home again last month with the publication of a new study and editorial, also in The Lancet. The work looked at 22 different cancers in Britain and their association with body mass index (B.M.I.), a simple but more effective measure of obesity than weight alone. The conclusions of the study, which involved a whopping 5.24 million people, were both notable and not entirely unexpected: When adjusted for factors like age and smoking, a higher B.M.I. was associated with a large increase in risk of cancers of the uterus, kidney, gallbladder, and liver, and smaller risk increases for at least six other types of cancer.[27]

See also

External links

Weight loss resources and tips

Documentary on weight loss:

Supplements

Irvingia gabonensis:

References

  1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/obesity/
  2. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obesity?show=0&t=1293887890
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=causes
  4. National Cancer Institute - Obesity and Cancer risk
  5. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=symptoms
  6. Harvard University - School of Public Health, Health risks of obesity
  7. How obesity is linked to infertility
  8. Survey Suggests Obesity May Cause Foot Problems
  9. Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, entitled A modeling investigation of obesity and balance recoveryby Sara Louise Matrangola
  10. Obesity and Alzheimer's: High Insulin Levels Linked to Alzheimer's
  11. Obese people are more at risk of Alzheimer’s
  12. Will China Defeat Obesity? By MARK BITTMANSEPT. 2, 2014
  13. Obesity increases risk of having 10 common cancers, study shows, South China Morning Post, Thursday, 14 August, 2014, 9:42pm
  14. Cancer Risk UK - Lifetime risk of cancer
  15. Obesity and Alzheimer's: High Insulin Levels Linked to Alzheimer's
  16. Obese people are more at risk of Alzheimer’s
  17. http://www.news-medical.net/health/Neurodegeneration-in-Alzheimers-and-Parkinsons.aspx
  18. http://www.dementiacarecentral.com/node/559
  19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC419385/
  20. http://www.neuroskills.com/tbi/btemporl.shtml
  21. Obesity in Middle Age May Increase Risk of Dementia
  22. Will China Defeat Obesity? By MARK BITTMANSEPT. 2, 2014
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