Ill effects of obesity

Obesity is not just about looking fat and unseemly. It has far more serious implications for your body and your general well-being.

What is obesity?

Simply put, it means being overweight. In medical terms, obesity is a serious, chronic disease that can adversely impact bodily functions.

India which has turned into something of a capital for many diseases and medical conditions like diabetes and heart problems; also ranks high on the ‘obesity list’ only trailing the US and China.

How obesity hurts your health

Obesity impacts health in many ways, chief among which are:

  1. High blood pressure - additional fat tissue in the body needs oxygen and nutrients in order to live, which means blood vessels need to circulate more blood to the fat tissue. This increases the workload of the heart which must pump more blood. Arteries have to work overtime to carry more blood. Over time higher pressure on the artery walls increases blood pressure. Also, being overweight can raise the heart rate and compromise the body's ability to transport blood.

  2. Diabetes - obesity is the major cause of type 2 diabetes. With obesity being common even in children, type 2 diabetes which usually begins in adulthood is now a common occurrence in children.

  3. Heart disease – hardening of arteries is 10 times more common in obese people. Coronary artery disease is also more prevalent due to the fatty deposits in arteries that supply blood to the heart. Narrowed arteries and reduced blood flow to the heart can cause chest pain (angina) or a heart attack. Blood clots can also form in narrowed arteries resulting in a stroke.

  4. Joint problems – because of the extra weight on the knees and hips

  5. Sleep apnea and respiratory problems

  6. Cancer – in both women (cancers of the breast, colon, gallbladder, uterus) and men (cancer of colon and prostate)

Treating obesity

There are two ways to treat obesity diet and exercise. Both these measures must be pursued with a long-term view and with resoluteness as benefits may not be evident immediately. Also, consider engaging an expert to guide you on diet and exercise for a more effective response to obesity.

In extreme cases, doctors may recommend surgery to control obesity.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle one must exercise and stay fit. Along with physical fitness we could also look at buying a health insurance plan to curb the rising costs of treating illnesses. HDFC Life Easy Health is one such plan that offers coverage for hospitalization, surgical procedures and critical illness. You can buy either one, two or all three options.

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HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Ltd.
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N.M. Joshi Marg, Mahalaxmi
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Telephone: (022) 67516666

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