Obesity: What You Should Know
Obesity is one of the largest health concerns that we have in the country today. This is because obesity is related to other acute diseases and chronic disease processes. The first acute disease process that we think about is COVID-19. With obesity comes an increased risk of not only getting COVID-19 but also for the extent of the illness itself. Some chronic issues related to obesity are certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, asthma, and diabetes.
“Losing just 10% body weight reduces the risk of diabetes by 80%.”
Since there are so many factors involved with multiple disease processes we cannot adjust, we must try to regulate those that we can. One of the things that we can help adjust is our weight. Although losing weight certainly is not easy, it is obtainable. To be considered successful, weight loss would be to lose 10% of one’s body weight. In fact, losing just 10% body weight reduces the risk of diabetes by 80%. Even just a 5% loss in body weight reduces the risk of diabetes by 50%. Reduction in body mass index (BMI) is been linked to improvement in multiple disease processes including heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
“A 5% loss in body weight reduces the risk of diabetes by 50%”
For women, excessive body weight is the second leading modifiable risk factor for cancer next to smoking. In fact, excessive body weight is associated with a greater proportion of cancers in women than in men according to a study published in 2018. Another interesting note is that the portion of cancer attributed to excessive body weight varies from state to state; Hawaii has the least amount of cancer attributed to excessive body weight while Washington DC has the greatest contribution. Additionally, the two most prominent relationships between excessive body weight and associated cancers are:
- Males in high-income Western countries
- Females in Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa
It is believed that the mechanism of the association between excess body weight and multiple other acute and chronic illnesses is based upon the relationship of chronic inflammation as it relates to hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. We know as insulin levels increase we see increasing inflammation.
Some of the ways to help reduce excess body weight are to:
- Reduce the use of unhealthy foods and sugar-sweetened beverages
- Limit screen time and encourage families to participate in physical activities together
- Keep unhealthy foods out of the house so they are harder to reach and less likely to be eaten
As you can see, the biggest concern for obesity is related to our health. Even a modest amount of weight loss can significantly improve your health as noted above. Try not to tackle all the weight at one time and doing segments appears to make it more obtainable.
Start your weight-loss journey today by taking our free assessment! Or give us a call to schedule an appointment: (913) 701-7811.
Author: Dr. Alan Kessler, D.O.