There has been quite a bit of education over the last few years about the co-morbidities of being over-weight or obese – a condition now affecting more than two thirds of the population. These are conditions that result from being overweight such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, even cancers.
Basically every vital organ in the body is affected by obesity – with ultimately their function being impaired due to fat cells gathering around them, ending sometimes in serious illness or actual breakdown of that organ.
However there are other conditions that can result from being overweight which you may not have thought of, but which are worth knowing about – information is power and it may provide you with a little extra motivation to stick to your guns and get to be the weight you want – lets start at the bottom, with
Your poor footsies bear the brunt of every step you take, not forgetting that there is normally only one foot on the ground at any one time while walking or jogging, so all your weight is concentrated on the one foot. As your weight increases your arch has to work harder and over time may flatten out – this often results in needing larger shoes. People may suffer from ‘pro-nated’ feet, where the foot ‘rolls’ inward which in time leads to problems in the ankle, the knees, and your hips, changing your posture creating back ache and other problems associated with poor posture. Then you may have the early onset of osteoarthritis. The problem here is that you need to increase your activity to help lose the weight, but you need to ensure that you do not cause further injury to yourself in the process, so it is important to be aware of any postural problems and a PT can advise on specific routines to alleviate any such concerns. The good news is that the feet can recover from this situation and your arch return to normal.
My tip – always ensure no matter what your size – to get proper shock-absorbing trainers to workout in and avoid flat shoes with no support.
this is the case for both men and women, although of course the consequences will be greater if your a pregnant woman! It is not known exactly why being overweight can reduce fertility, though it is thought to do with the underlying metabolism, being over weight affects egg production and is more likely to activate conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome which affects fertility. You pregnancy can also be affected by being over weight, especially in regards to gestational diabetes and other complications such as pre-eclampsia. Also if you are trying for IVF, the chances of it taking are lower if you’re overweight. It has been suggested that it may even lead to your child having weight issues during their life if the mother is overweight while pregnant.
My tip.If you are trying to get pregnant and lose weight, don’t forget to do resistance training as it is mainly this that will increase your metabolism.
Gum disease has long been linked to obesity and is a major cause of tooth loss. In tests, people will a higher BMI (30+) were found to have had deeper pockets of periodontal pockets which ultimately decay teeth. The greatest danger though comes from eating sugary foods and drinks high in sugar – both for your waistline and your teeth, one girl was reported to have rotted ALL her teeth after a number of years of drinking up to 12 diet Dr Peppers a day. So don’t be fooled by these diet drinks, they are not good for you or your teeth!
My tip here of course is to brush regularly, say twice a day, flossing is essential, visit the dentist at least every 6 months and avoid sugar.
I have spoken in previous blogs about lack of sleep being associated with weight loss problems. The knock on effect is that if you suffer a lack of sleep you are far more likely to make poor food choices the next day and want to get a ‘sugar hit’ to give yourself a much needed energy boost. Also by being overweight you have the increased risk of suffering from sleep Apnoea, due to compressed airways from having too many fat cells around the airways, this can interrupt your breathing many times during the night (even gagging may occur), this in turn contributes to higher blood pressure and being more sleepy and unproductive during the day.
My tip is to focus on the quality of your sleep, try not to be on the computer or near the TV right before bed and certainly not in bed, plus do not eat or drink before retiring, that will only put more energy into your body.
There are 4 types of preventable blindness – all linked into Obesity. cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy & age related macular degeneration. A leading Israeli Professor, Dr Michael Belkin looked at over 20 studies with thousands of participants to come to this conclusion, he says there is conclusive evidence which has now been pulled together to give a clearer picture, and that this isn’t, but should be common knowledge. The effects of being overweight will not have an immediate effect, but will take place over time.
My tip most healthcare funds will now provide free eye tests, have these done every 2 years or so or if you become aware of any deterioration.
SO if weight loss is your goal and you feel you need some extra motivation take note of these other less known co-morbidities. It can take a long time to physically feel these negative conditions, but the good news is that by focusing on your weight and fitness goals, you can see and feel a difference in a relatively short space of time and these benefits will continue long into the future.