A little goes a long way when it comes to weight loss. Even a modest weight loss of 5% to 10% of total body weight in a person who is overweight can have significant health benefits. Such a small loss may not seem like much if you’re trying to look glamorous in your skinny jeans, but health benefits will make it worthwhile.
Weight loss can reverse or prevent diabetes, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improve sleep apnea, lower blood sugar, improve moods, enhance mobility, decreased pain, and boost energy.
In nutshell, weight loss will not only decrease your risk of developing heart disease, but also makes you feel more confident and energized. Your sex life and social life will improve and you can engage in activities that are important to you.
In North America, obesity accounts for many deaths and it is second only to tobacco. As tobacco use declines and obesity rises rapidly, it is not surprising that obesity is soon to become the leading cause of death in North America.
Colon, kidney, prostate, gallbladder, endometrial, and postmenopausal breast cancer are all believed to be associated with obesity. Women gaining more than 20 pounds from age 18 to midlife double their risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, compared to women whose weights remain stable. Overweight woman have a higher risk of developing breast, colon, gallbladder, and uterus cancer. Obesity is believed to also increase risk of prostate and colon cancer in men who are over-weight.
Coronary artery disease is associated with obesity due to fat deposits in the arteries that supply the heart. Atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries, is also prevalent in obese people. Combination of narrowed arteries and less blood supply to the heart increase chances of angina (chest pain), heart attack, congestive heart failure, and stroke. High blood pressure is twice as common in adults who are obese than in those who are at a healthy weight.
Metabolic syndrome is a complex risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome usually consists of: abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides and inflammation markers of blood.
Majority of people with diabetes are overweight or obese. A weight gain of 11 to 15 pounds doubles a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Previously, diabetes type 2 was common in adults only. Due to increase in childhood obesity, diabetes type 2 is now occurring in children as well.
Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
Obesity causes added weight on neck and chest wall. Hence, it increases prevalence of sleep apnea (interrupted breathing while sleeping), snoring, and asthma.
Joint pain and Arthritis
Extra weight can place stress on the knees and hips and can lead to arthritis. Risk of developing arthritis increases by 9-13% for every 2-pound weight gain.
Obesity has been associated with menstrual disorders, infertility, miscarriage, poor pregnancy outcome, and impaired fetal well-being. Being overweight before pregnancy increases the risk of maternal high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and still birth. Overweight or obese women face greater risk of developing urinary tract infection during pregnancy and postpartum infection. Infants of obese women are more likely to have high birthweight and low blood sugar which can be associated with seizures and brain damage. Infantile birth defects such as spina bifida and heart defects are also associated with maternal obesity.