Losing Weight Lowers These 5 Health Risks
I'm sure a lot of us want to lose weight to look better, right?
As awesome as it is going from obese to a normal weight, did you know there are other health risks you lower when you lose weight?
There are a number of significant health risks that you can reduce as you start fitting better into those jeans. Of course, the most prevalent condition associated with being overweight is Type 2 diabetes, but there are other issues that can be deadly, too.
Harvard University researchers note that losing five to ten percent of your body weight can make a huge difference in lowering risk levels, even if you never achieve your goal weight. You can also start losing weight later in life and enjoy risk reduction.
So let's check out what risks we are lowering when we lose weight - maybe this will help push you into working harder.
Lose Weight, Improve Your Health
1.) Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
It's normal for our livers to contain some fat, but when more than 10% of your liver's weight is from fat, you are at risk for developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
This disease is closely related to weight and causes swelling in the liver. In some cases, it may lead to organ failure.
Consistently eating high-cholesterol, high-sugar, highly-processed foods taxes the liver. This leads to your liver with the job of shuttling that junk from your system.
The National Institutes of Health estimate 30-40% of US Adults have this condition - with the numbers possibly climbing higher.
“If your condition is happening as a result of your habits, and you change those, then you have a good chance of reversing the disease,” says Wayne Eskridge, CEO of the nonprofit Fatty Liver Foundation. He also mentions just because you are not dealing with this yet, you need to consider doing more in terms of prevention.
2.) Some Cancers
A lot of recent research is starting to link excess weight with an increased risk of several types of cancer.
Cancer risks include:
- Bone Marrow
Dr. Graham Colditz is the chair of IARC Working Group. They undertook a pretty large research study on the link between cancer and obesity. They found that someone only needs to gain 25 pounds over what is considered their normal weight to increase their risk.
Studies show the link between inflammation and cancer is strong.
What's that mean?
Obesity causes changes to our metabolism and hormones that cause chronic inflammation. Colditz says that we should prioritize keeping our weight constant, but a 5% reduction in your weight can begin to lower cancer risk.
While a lot of us think that strokes are reserved for older people, there has been a sharp rise of younger people having strokes. This is mainly due to the increase of weight-related problems like diabetes and lipid disorders.
“Compared to 20 years ago, incidence of stroke is rising in young adults to a significant degree,” says Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos, director of neurocritical care at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She cites a study that found ischemic stroke hospitalization rates are increasing for both men and women under age 45, particularly in areas where obesity is a larger issue.
So losing some weight and getting your health markers checked is a great preventative measure.
“Get a wellness check, even if you think you’re too young and you’re healthy,” Greene-Chandos advises. “Know your numbers. And most of all, don’t think that strokes are just for older people. That’s simply not the case.”
There are plenty of studies that show a strong link between obesity and depression.
Obesity increases your risk of depression, but depression also increases the risk of obesity.
What's worse is many of the antidepressants we are prescribed have a side effect of weight gain. It's like we can't win.
Poor self-image, social isolation, and overeating are all habits that people with depression deal with. It all feeds into their depression-obesity cycle.
Fortunately, social workers and researchers mention how we know such a great deal about addressing and treating depression. They say that no one should feel hopeless since there is help available.
If you deal with depression and have lose weight and gained it back (if not more), I am right with you. Depression is a vicious cycle that causes a lot of demons in your life. I invite you to tackle depression head on. You really have nothing to lose, so why not try to get better?
5.) Respiratory Diseases
As we carry excess weight, our lung function could be compromised. The accumulation of abdominal and visceral fat limits how much your diaphragm moves. This, in turn, lowers our lung expansion.
Visceral fat can also reduce the flexibility of your chest wall and narrow the airways in the lungs.
This is why a lot of overweight people have asthma and obstructive sleep apnea. Several researchers have pointed out after a review of seven studies that obesity increases your asthma risk by 50%. If you have sleep apnea, this can lead to a number of other problems, such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Wrapping It Up
Harvard researchers mention that it doesn't take someone losing 100 pounds for them to get risk factors lower. In fact, small incremental changes focused on long-term, sustained weight loss, can cause a major boost to your long-term health.
So quit waiting.