Obesity continues to be a major problem within the United States, with an increase in rates of adult obesity and related health problems like diabetes detected in several states, according to a new report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Recent studies of trends in national obesity rates add to an existing mountain of evidence that addressing obesity rates must remain a high priority to ensure the wellness of the nation.Read More »
The connection between obesity and cancer is indisputable. Researchers found that carrying excess body fat is a risk factor for developing cancers, including breast, colorectal, uterine, kidney, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers.
What is not as clear is the exact mechanism that causes obesity to increase the risk of developing cancerous diseases. Most experts believe that the chief culprit is increased inflammation due to the presence of visceral fat; this is the type of fat that is located around vital organs.
Visceral fat is somewhat different than other types of fat found in the body. Visceral fat cells are larger than normal, and there are more of them. This type of fat restricts the supply of oxygen, resulting in inflammation. Inflammation is a natural process that is your body’s response to disease and injury. Acute inflammation is normal, but chronic inflammation is a problem that can lead to disease states like cancer.
Obesity: Effects on the Heart
The effects of obesity on the heart are equally well known. Obesity is connected with a number of health conditions underlying heart disease, including high blood pressure, abnormal blood cholesterol, and diabetes. Weight gain often occurs due to harmful lifestyle choices like a calorie-rich diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
Scientists have long suspected that high fat accumulations, particularly in the abdominal area, have a negative impact on heart function and structure, even without the presence of other cardiovascular disease risks. A recent study followed 950 older people for signs of heart dysfunction. The research concluded that the obese subjects had a higher rate of abnormal heart function than those with normal weights. Even after eliminating the effects of other risk factors, the obese participants still had as much as a 60 percent higher risk of developing heart dysfunction.
Obesity and You
If you are currently overweight or obese, losing weight is one of the best things that you can do for your wellness to prevent conditions like heart disease and cancerous diseases. Reduce your caloric intake and pick up a good exercise routine. Many overweight people choose an exercise like swimming that is easier on the joints. Limit your intake of red meat, alcohol, and processed meats, especially around the holidays.
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