The emergence of new and contradicting studies in the fields of Nutrition and Health each day has made it very difficult for one to decide what to believe and what not to.However, one fact that independent studies cannot deny is that with the increase in obesity and excess body fat come several associated health risks.
Studies have concluded that anyone who is overweight is potentially at a higher risk of suffering from a number of health problems such as high blood pressure,various heart ailments, Diabetes, Colon Cancer,gallstones Etc.
But the debate continues as to how much one would consider as being ‘Considerably Overweight’?
Although there is no fixed ideal weight for any given person there are certain factors that do provide an accurately healthy range .One such measurement is that of a BMI (Body Mass Index)which is calculated by dividing ones weight in Kilograms by ones height squared(meters).A rough classification for a BMI result is as follows :-
Under 18.5 = Underweight
18.5 – 24.99 = Normal Weight
25 – 29.99 = Overweight
30 – 34.99 = Obese (Class 1)
35 – 39.99 = Obese (Class 2)
40 and above = Extreme Obesity
For people who have a lower BMI, health risks are minimal but one cannot rule out genetic and environmental factors that can cause health problems.However, for those with a BMI of 25 and above, conclusive studies have proven that health risks are infinitely greater.
People who suffer from ‘Abnormal Obesity’ have large fat deposits around the stomach and abdomen and are prone to suffering from Cardiovascular diseases and Insulin resistance syndrome.For women to fall under this category their waist circumference should be 35 inches or more whereas for men it is 40 inches and above.Other risks associated with this health risk are high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Excessive body fat is particularly harmful as leads to the narrowing and clogging of the arteries which can eventually cause a stroke and/or hypertension.
For an average person, rapid weight gain from 10-20 pounds increases the odds of developing Type 2 Diabetes.Although genetic factors should be taken into account the fact of the matter is that an individual who has had rapid weight gain is at double the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes than a person who has not had any weight gain when other factors are held constant.
Studies have also discovered a direct correlation between high BMI levels and the degree of liver damage. Liver Disease can be caused by insulin resistance which is more likely to be found among those who are obese.
A rapid rise in BMI or obesity can also lead to the formation of gallstones and sleep apnea(an interruption of breathing during sleep).
In short,even though there are many genetic and environmental factors it has been found that excessive body fat is a major factor responsible for health issues.Nowadays, being obese is no longer an issue of simply being acceptable it has become a major health risk that people should be aware of.