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We all know that obesity isn’t healthy. While there might be some research suggesting that those who are slightly overweight are actually healthier than underweight people, being obese is a different matter and can pose serious risks to your health.

The list of health hazards associated with being obese reads like a “what’s what” of diseases you really don’t want to get. Obesity really does increase almost every life-threatening condition that plagues modern society.

It is completely true that how you treat your body and how you look in entirely up to you. If you’re happy being morbidly obese, making your way from day to day at a high risk of disease and illness, having a very poor quality of existence, then that’s your choice. However, by knowing the health hazards associated with being obese, you may change your mind.

Not only that, but realizing the risks could prompt you to inspire change in others. Knowing our loved ones could be putting themselves in danger is often the catalyst we need to get them to change their habits. While you yourself might be lean, strong and fit, not everyone around you will be. Perhaps you have a friend, family member or colleague who is extremely overweight – they might be completely unaware of the damage they’re doing to their body. By sharing these risks, you could just save a life.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the precursor to a heart attack.

Being obese greatly increases your risk of CHD (coronary heart disease.) A waxy substance known as plaque starts to build up in your arteries, causing the vessels to become constricted and reduce blood flow to your heart. As your body can’t pump enough blood to the heart, you can develop heart failure or suffer from a heart attack.

High Blood Pressure

This is linked to the same build up of plaque as above. Your blood vessels will still try to pump the same volume of blood around your body, but where the vessel diameters are smaller, the pressure increases. Increased blood pressure is linked to heart disease and strokes.

A stroke is similar to a heart attack in many respects, though instead of blood being blocked from reaching the heart, a stroke is a blockage to the brain.

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is all to do with how your body uses sugar.

Under normal circumstances, when you eat a meal (particularly one containing carbohydrates or sugars) your body releases a hormone known as insulin from the pancreas. The sugars are broken down and carried through the bloodstream, where insulin helps convert it into energy.

When you’re a type 2 diabetic, your body first starts producing too much insulin (due to a high sugar intake) and then over time, “burns out” and can’t manufacture enough. Diabetes is a major player in heart disease, strokes, kidney failure and blindness and has been heavily linked to being obese.

Cancer

Cancer is another disease with long standing links with obesity. Being overweight and living an unhealthy lifestyle increases your chances of all cancers, but specifically increases your risk of colon, breast, endometrial, and gallbladder cancers.

Blood Fats

If you’re obese you’re likely to have higher levels of bad blood fats. These include triglycerides and LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. You’ll also have lower levels of good, or HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

Arthritis

It’s not just your organs, cardiovascular and circulatory systems that suffer – all that extra weight means obesity can play havoc with your joints and lead to arthritis.

If the above weren’t enough, being obese also raises your risk of metabolic syndrome (high blood sugars,) sleep apnea, breathing problems and sexual dysfunction.

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