Live and let…

I have been catching a lot of heat for this week’s topic.  No one wants to talk about fat and for some reason, my skinniest friends think I am talking about them.  We are a culture obsessed with our weight and very few people are happy with their body.  This week, though, is not about individual body image.  I do shudder at the thought of a nation of overweight people but it is not because of aesthetics, it is because of the health implications that come with obesity.

Overweight and obese people are at increased risk of:
1. Type 2 Diabetes - being overweight makes it very difficult for your body to control your blood sugar resulting in increased risk for diabetes.  As obesity rates rise, so do diabetes rates.

2. Cardiovascular disease – being overweight increases your chances of having high blood pressure and coronary artery disease which in turn, increases your chance of having a heart attack or stroke.

3.  Cancer - including uterus, breast, ovarian, colon and prostate.  This increased risk seems to be the result of a combination of lack of physical activity, increased stress on the body at a cellular level and hormonal changes caused by fat cells.

4.  Depression – I get slightly depressed when my jeans are a little tighter than usual.  I usually cure that by convincing myself that they recently came out of the dryer and I am bloated and I drank too much water before I put them on.  I can only imagine how being truly unhappy with your appearance can cause someone to become depressed.  It is not all a result of not liking the way you look.  There are actual chemical changes that occur because of the obesity itself.

5.  Sleep disturbances - obesity causes sleep apnea because the fat cells can actually clog the airways.  Narrowing of the airway results in cessation of breathing for short periods of time which interrupts sleep.  The resulting fatigue discourages physical activity and the cycle continues.

On the positive side, a moderate degree of being overweight is protective for your bone health and will reveal fewer wrinkles in your face.  Of course, you can take Boniva like Gidget and use Retin-A so, with the above in mind,  it is probably smarter to maintain a healthy weight.
I want to stress that I am not passing judgement.  Obesity is a very serious condition that is very difficult to cure.  There is no quick fix and as we all know, changing our lifestyle and mindset is not easy.  Individuals are responsible for their own health but as a society, we have got get our s@#t together.
Tomorrow – risk factors for becoming obese.  Thursday – childhood obesity.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This entry was posted in Cancer, Cardiovascular, Depression, Diabetes, Inside, Sleep. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Laynie

    Obesity can contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes. It cannot, however, contribute to the onset of type 1 diabetes. To lump diabetes into one category is a gross generalization and, frankly, offensive to type 1 diabetics.

    There is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes. It is an autoimmune disease that most often strikes children and young adults and leaves them insulin dependent for life (as opposed to type 2 diabetes, where the body doesn’t make enough insulin and/or doesn’t properly use the insulin it makes).

    Type 1 diabetics are forever having to defend themselves against the misconception that obesity and poor lifestyle habits cause their disease. Type 1 diabetes doesn’t come from being overweight, not exercising, eating too much sugar or fat. Type 1 diabetes is in no way preventable, and type 1 diabetics are often guarded about their condition because of these misconceptions.

    So, please, when you discuss obesity contributing to “diabetes” (obviously a very serious and worthy crusade), do the type 1s of the world a favor and call a spade a spade: you’re talking about type 2 diabetes. The innocent infants, children, and young adults diagnosed with type 1 deserve not to be discriminated against vis a vis misguided, inaccurate admonishments. They did nothing to cause their disease.

    • Yes Five

      Laynie,
      My apologies. You are absolutely correct and while I obviously know the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, I should never assume that everyone does. I am sorry if that was offensive and hopefully you will understand that it was an oversight. I will make sure to be more clear in the future. To be fair to type 2 diabetics, there are many circumstances where they are also not to blame although I hesitate to say that anyone is ever to blame for their health problems. Thank you for clarifying that and I have corrected it in the text for future reading. I plan on doing a week on diabetes and one of the things that I will make very clear are the differences between the two types.
      Karen