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Risk factors for becoming obese
Diagnosing obesity
Complications of obesity
Treating Obesity
Obesity Causes

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Health Complications of Obesity

      Obesity and health share a close relationship. Obesity greatly increases the risks associated with a number of very serious illnesses and medical conditions.

1) High Blood Pressure

Weight gain results in more fatty tissue. As with all other tissues in the body, fatty tissue requires oxygen and blood nutrients to survive. With this increased demand comes a corresponding increase in the amount of blood circulating through the body. This increase in blood circulation results in greater pressure on the walls of the arteries, resulting in high blood pressure.

2) Diabetes

Obesity is the number one contributor to Type 2 Diabetes. Too much body fat leaves the body resistant to insulin. It is insulin that allows the body to maintain a healthy blood sugar level (glucose) and resistance to insulin leads to high blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes and obesity are an all to familiar combination.

3) Abnormal Blood Fats

High fat diets that include large amounts of red meat and fried foods are high in saturated fats. A diet high in saturated fats often leads to obesity, high levels of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and low levels of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein). High levels of triglycerides are also common in obese people. Triglycerides are the form in which most fat exists in the body and in foods, and these abnormal blood fats contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits in the body's arteries (artherosclerosis), increasing the risk of stroke and coronary artery disease. The effect of narrowed arteries in the heart is that less blood is able to flow to the heart, causing chest pain (angina) and even heart attack.

4) Stroke

The buildup of fatty acids in the arteries in the brain can contribute to blood clots that block blood flow to the brain, leading to stroke.

5) Osteoarthritis

This joint disorder commonly affects the hips, knees and lower back. These regions are particularly susceptible to the added stress that carrying excess weight causes, as increased pressure on the joints wears away the cartilage that protects them.

6) Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea can be a very serious condition and exists when an individual stops breathing for periods as they sleep. Those with sleep apnea usually snore very heavily. The vast majority of people who suffer from sleep apnea are overweight. A large neck and narrow airways causes the upper airway to become blocked during sleep, cutting off breathing.

7) Cancer

Being overweight heightens the risk for a number of cancers. These include uterine, breast, gallbladder, colon and prostate cancer.

8) Gallstones

Gallstones are solid deposits of cholesterol in the gallbladder.

9) Gout

Gout is a joint disorder.

The American Obesity Association offers excellent advice, information and resources for all those fighting obesity. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health offers excellent articles and research on obesity and health issues. Use the search box to access obesity related information.

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