1. Heart Disease
Obesity, or the accumulation of excess body fat, is a significant contributor to the development of heart disease. Specifically, individuals with abdominal obesity are at a higher risk of heart disease. This is because fat deposits that accumulate in the abdominal cavity, beneath the skin, can adhere to the walls of blood vessels or obstruct their function. This can lead to the build-up of cholesterol in the blood vessels, resulting in a condition known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis forces the heart to pump harder and work more vigorously. Prolonged strain on the heart muscle can ultimately lead to conditions like congestive heart failure.
The condition of stroke, including ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, can also be linked to obesity. This connection arises from the accumulation of fatty deposits within the blood vessels of various organs. This buildup can disrupt blood circulation to the brain, leading to sudden interruptions in blood flow and, in severe cases, may result in rapid, life-threatening consequences if timely medical intervention is not received.
3. High Blood Pressure
When there is an excessive amount of fat in the body, it can adversely affect the functioning of the blood vessels responsible for delivering blood to all parts of the body. The impact of excess fat and obesity may be a significant contributing factor to the development of high blood pressure.
Obesity is thought to trigger changes to the body's metabolism. These changes cause fat tissue to release free fatty acid and glucose into the blood. This affects insulin responsive cells and leads to reduced insulin sensitivity. More insulin is needed to bring down blood glucose levels.
5. Obstructive Sleep Apnea: OSA
Obesity can cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) by leading to an excess accumulation of fat tissues, particularly in the neck and throat area. This excess fat can put pressure on the airway and respiratory structures, making them more prone to collapsing or narrowing during sleep. As a result, individuals with obesity are at a higher risk of experiencing obstructions in their airway, leading to the characteristic pauses in breathing and disrupted sleep patterns seen in OSA. Managing obesity through weight loss and lifestyle changes is often a critical component of OSA treatment, as it can help reduce the severity of the condition and improve overall sleep quality.
6. Knee Osteoarthritis
The force on the knees of overweight or obese patients when walking is 3-4 times greater than their body weight. This is a key factor behind the onset of knee disorders, such as knee pain, stiffness, or impaired function.