Fri | Jun 25, 2021

Excess body weight increases disease

Published:Wednesday | June 6, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Kenneth Gardner, fitness club

A balanced diet and regular physical activity can help you achieve a healthy weight and decrease, as well as eliminate health risks associated with being overweight. Our body mass index or BMI is an excellent indicator of our body weight status. However, the measurement of our waist will give a quick insight of our weight status. Women with a waist measurement over 35 inches and men above 40 inches have increased risks of obesity-related diseases. Excess fat in the abdomen could increase health risks more than fat in other parts of the body.

Excess body weight impacts our joints adversely. This often results in the development of arthritis and makes moving about difficult. Overweight is also associated with heart attack, stroke, type two diabetes, some cancers, sleep problems and gallbladder disease.

The best way to prevent overweight is to achieve a caloric deficit by using most of the energy from the foods we eat to do physical or mental activities. However, the most efficient way to achieve this is to increase the level of physical activity.

Improve heart function

A reduction in body weight of 10 to 20 pounds, if you are overweight, can cause significant health improvements. Cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death and disability locally and internationally. Persons who are overweight are more likely to experience risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats, chest pain. By exercising and reducing your weight you will improve your heart function including blood pressure, heart rate and blood composition.

If you are overweight you are twice as likely to develop type two diabetes which is a major cause of dying young, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and blindness. The risk of developing these health issues can be reduced as well as the cost for medication used to control blood sugar by maintaining a healthy weight and regular involvement in physical activity.

Cancer development

Research has shown an affinity for women who are overweight to develop cancer of the uterus, gallbladder, cervix, ovary, breast, and colon, and colon rectum and prostate cancer in men who are overweight. Adherence to healthy body weight and regular physical activity could reduce the risks of cancer development.

Persons who are overweight tend to have an affinity for sleep apnea or breathing problems during sleep. It can cause us to stop breathing, snoring could also occur and the worse case even heart failure. Excess body weight can subject your joints to added pressure that wears away the cartilage thus causing arthritis in your knees, hips and lower back. Physical activities that result in weight reduction and improved flexibility decrease the stress on the joints and reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Dr Kenneth Gardner is an exercise physiologist at Holiday Hills Research Center; email: