Fat is a wider health issue

2013Feb01_WeightLoss_AFew people think it’s possible to be obese and healthy. However, do you know all the health risks of being more than overweight? While you might get that heart disease and diabetes are no strangers to obesity, what about other serious diseases that are affected by weight? A new poll suggests that most people are not aware of the many ways in which weight can seriously impact  your health.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has highlighted a few health problems that are hardly associated with being overweight in the minds of many people, certainly in the US at least.

Cancer
Out of the just over 1000 people polled by telephone, just 7% referred to cancer when asked about health risks of being overweight. Obesity might be on the rise and cancer on the decline but it’s believed by many experts that weight affects hormones which in turn can result in cancer development.

Arthritis
While knee replacements might have doubled in the past 20 years in the over 65s in the US, according to the study just 15% attributed arthritis risk to obesity. The rise in obesity rates means that more people are suffering with joint pain. As a result of this debilitation sufferers often find it challenging to really exercise or lead an active life.

Sleep apnea, infertility and strokes
Scoring low in the participant responses was the connection between strokes and obesity, while fertility didn’t even register. Respiratory problems were recognised by just 5% although complaints such as asthma and sleep apnea are affected by weight. Other conditions hardly registering were high blood pressure and high cholesterol too.

Second biggest health risk?
While there might be some missing information when it comes to the health consequences of being obese, obesity is a health problem people take seriously. The study revealed that after cancer, this level of weight gain, or this level of BMI, is seen as the biggest problem, in the US at least.

Public perception
Americans might be getting bigger, along with much of the Western world at least, but that doesn’t mean that obesity is acceptable to the masses, according to the study. 95% of people believed that obese people faced some level of discrimination as a result of their bigger size. When it comes to reasons, 80% state that screen time is the major factor influencing size, alongside access to cheap fast food and a lack of motivation and understanding of how to control weight.

Are you overweight or obese and unaware of the potential far reaching health consequences? Or know someone who is struggling with their weight? Is there a lack of initiative and know-how when it comes to doing something about it? Weight loss through exercise, with a healthy eating plan can shape the future you and reduce the risk of some illnesses too.

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