Generally, when you have a healthy body weight, your body functions better than it can when you have extra body fat. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have obesity are at a high risk for many health problems, including chronic diseases.
Dr. Lori Scott at Lori Scott Family Care in Kinston, North Carolina, is an expert in weight loss and weight management. She’s seen firsthand how a comprehensive, individualized weight loss program can help people reach a healthy body weight, overcome health complications, and lead a life full of energy, activity, and peace of mind.
With that, here are three of the top health complications linked to being overweight or obese — and three big reasons to keep your weight healthy.
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the type that you can develop from eating an unhealthy diet and leading a sedentary lifestyle. When you have type two diabetes, your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t respond to the insulin your body produces — without insulin or an insulin response, your body can’t remove sugar from your blood.
Chronically high blood sugar — the hallmark of diabetes — has been linked to overweightness and obesity time and time again. To prevent type 2 diabetes, eat a diet rich in vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. Regular exercise can help, too, because physical activity helps your body use sugar as fuel for your working muscles (among a whole host of health benefits).
Every time your heart beats, it sends nutrient-rich blood throughout your body with great force. This is called your blood pressure. You need a healthy blood pressure so your heart can distribute blood to all parts of your body — it does have to reach all the way down to your toes, of course! — but when your blood pressure gets too high, it can cause health problems.
Scientists think obesity and high blood pressure are related because being overweight might cause your heart to beat harder in its attempts to distribute blood. Excess body fat may also damage organs that are important for regulating blood pressure. For reference, a healthy blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg is considered healthy. If your blood pressure is higher than that (especially if it is higher than 140/90 mm Hg), talk to your doctor about treatment options.
Heart disease is an umbrella term that covers many different diseases, including stroke, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, coronary artery disease, and more. One of the more common types of heart disease is coronary heart disease (CAD), which begins as atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis happens when your blood vessels become hard or narrowed due to fatty deposits lining the interior walls. This makes it hard for the blood to flow through. When you have CAD, arteries leading to your heart become narrow or damaged, making it difficult for your heart to receive the nutrients and oxygen it needs to pump blood.
Heart disease is linked to overweightness and obesity because people who have excess body weight often have more risk factors for heart disease.
If you struggle with your body weight and feel concerned about the health risks of being overweight, get in touch with Dr. Scott, who can develop a comprehensive, customized weight loss program for you. To learn about medical weight loss programs and nutrition counseling with Dr. Scott, visit our weight loss FAQ or book an appointment by calling our Kinston, North Carolina, office at 252-238-7079 or book online today.