What Are The Risks Of Obesity?



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The risks and effects of obesity are very widespread.  Since you are reading this blog post from me, a doctor, you may feel I am about to cover only the medical effects.  Not true.

I acknowledge that the effects of obesity are very diverse.  In fact, I feel the risks of obesity cover the following areas:
medical, social, career/work, and psychological.

There Are Immense Medical Risks

Obesity has dramatic health effects.  Those who are obese, and particularly those who are severely obese, experience a dramatically shortened life span. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have stated that an increase of 20% beyond ‘ideal body weight’ is the point at which excess weight becomes a health risk.  As the amount of weight above this point increases, so do the health risks.

There are many diseases which often follow obesity — such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, bone and joint problems, coronary artery disease, stroke, some cancers, and many others.  Each of these independently can have serious consequences to your health.

The medical risks of diabetes are indeed profound.  If you are obese, please realize that the likelihood is very high that you will develop at least one of the many obesity-related diseases.  If you are obese, your chances of dying sooner than your non-obese friends is very high.  It is precisely these risks that initially propelled me to write this ebook and extend my knowledge, tools, services and motivation to you.

Social Effects Are Also Present

The social effects of obesity are equally as visible.  Even though more and more people struggle with this problem, there is still a very definite prejudice.  I know that I have witnessed, sadly more often than once, how people disrespect someone simply because he or she is obese.  Social occasions, dating, even going to an unknown location can all be very frustrating for those who are obese – mostly because of the known prejudice and disregard that is so prevalent.  Yes, through the eyes of my patients, I have experienced that the social costs are very high.

Careers Can Be Affected

It is common knowledge that those who are obese get passed up for promotion more often not.  Weight-related discrimination cases are becoming more prevalent in the court room.  It has similarly been shown that this phenomenon has nothing to do with a lack of performance.  It is simply a form of isolated, and often, blatant prejudice.

I will say, however, that for someone who is quite obese (ie. he or she meets the criteria of ‘severe’ or ‘morbid obesity’), there is a very real decrease in energy level.  Depending on your career or current work position, your obesity may very well be having an impact on your performance.

The Psychological Costs Are High

Many patients of mine have struggled so long to fight their obesity.  Frankly, they hate it.   They feel they’ve ‘tried everything’ and want to give up hope.  Some have suffered painful lost relationships, which they feel is primarily due to their obese condition.  With all of the prejudices and the sometimes forced limitation of activity, some feel that life is simply not that enjoyable.  They feel the struggle is greater than the joy.  Sadly, depression and low self esteem is very prevalent in the obese population.

Maybe you can relate… I’d like to provide you hope.  Tune in tomorrow and I will address the Solutions To Obesity.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

weighty September 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm

gonna send this to my mom

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