Being overweight is a health problem that affects people of all ages from children to adults. Being overweight is having a body weight that is more than what is medically recommended for your height and body mass index. Your weight results from different factors some of which can be managed. They include; genes, environment, lifestyle, metabolism rate, habits, family history of being overweight or obese and feeding routines just to mention a few. You cannot change genes and family history, but you can adopt a lifestyle that curbs unhealthy weight development.
Health risks of being overweight
Coronary heart disease
As your body weight increases, so does your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is a health condition whereby a waxy substance known as plaque builds up in the coronary arteries that are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood into the heart. The plaque narrows the coronary arteries and gradually blocks them. Narrowing the arteries reduces the amount of oxygenated blood transported to the heart muscles. This, in turn, can cause chest discomfort or pain known as angina or worse still, a heart attack. If the problem is not addressed, it can lead to heart failure where the heart cannot pump enough blood as required by the body.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure also known as hypertension occurs when the blood flows through arteries at higher than normal pressure. Genetic and environmental changes in the body are responsible for causing high blood pressure. Environmental changes include factors like being overweight, unhealthy eating habits and taking certain medicines such as hormonal therapies. High blood pressure also runs in families. As such, there are gene mutations that put you at risk of developing high blood pressure if your parents had the same. If the blood pressure rises and stays high for a long period, it can damage other parts of the body and lead to serious health complications.
As noted above, being overweight causes plague build up in the arteries. With time, the plaque ruptures and causes formation of a blood clot. If the clot gets close to the brain, it blocks oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Lack of oxygenated blood in the brain causes a stroke to occur. The brain cells will die gradually after a few minutes of lacking oxygen. Note that, the risk of developing stroke increases as the body mass index increases. Stroke is a serious medical condition that requires emergency care. It causes long term disability, lasting brain damage or death if not addressed immediately it occurs.
Abnormal blood fats
Being overweight means that you have excess and abnormal fats stored in the body. This includes high levels of bad cholesterol that in turn take up the storage space meant for good cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat and waxy substance that is present in all body cells. The body relies on good cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D and other substances that help during digestion. High blood cholesterol and fats signify that you have too much unwanted cholesterol in the blood. High levels of bad cholesterol increase your chances of developing heart complications.
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