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How Does Obesity Affect Our Health

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We all hear everyday about the rise in overweight and obese Americans. Some believe it has reached epidemic proportions here and around the world. Some 130 million people in the United States are considered either overweight or obese. Some of the causes for obesity are family history, heredity, nutrition and exercise. The sad thing is that most of these are under our control and yet as a society we just continue to gain weight. This problem is not just cosmetic for the people that are affected; it can have some very serious health implications. Below we have tried to explain some of these.

TYPE 2 DIABETES

Being overweight and inactive can trigger the onset of type 2 diabetes in those that are at risk. This is a serious disease with negative health implications. It occurs when blood sugar levels are too high. Over time it can lead to other conditions such as blindness, heart attack and stroke. Over 80% of people with diabetes are either overweight or obese. Gaining as little as 11 to 18 pounds can double the risk of getting diabetes compared to someone how has not put on weight. The good news is that this is treatable with diet, exercise and medication.

HEART DISEASE

This happens when fatty deposits called plaque build up on the inside walls of the arteries.

These arteries supply blood and oxygen to the heart. This condition narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to the heart. The chance of having a heart attack developing heart disease increases as your body mass index (BMI) increases. Obesity can also lead to congestive heart failure which is a condition where the heart can not pump enough blood to meet the body's requirements.

STROKE

As your BMI increases and fatty deposits build up in your arteries you run the chance of forming blood clots. If the clot happens to form close to the brain it limits the blood flow and causes a stroke. Brain cells die when they do not receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION)

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