How Being Obese or Overweight Can Harm You

May 30, 2020

What Do You Mean By Obesity?

Obesity is defined as a weight that is considered above the normal, desired amount. It can be attributed to many factors. Some of them are junk food, unhealthy routine, lack of exercise, or chronic diseases.

Overweight Is Not Just About How You Look

Being obese can be a constant source of criticism. The stereotype that being fat means that you are ugly is completely ridiculous and not true. But, while we fight to keep these stereotypes at bay, we must also consider the serious side effects, health wise, that come with being obese.

What Does It Do To Your Body?

The Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) focused on the relation between mortality and obesity. The study showed that the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled since 1980 and is now 5% in children and 12% in adults. These findings show similar global trends. The finding that we should worry about the most is the tripling rate of obesity in young adults and kids. This trend is mainly seen in kids belonging to developing and developed countries. The study shows that an early onset is likely to transform into type 2 diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease.

Obesity and Body Mass Index

“A BMI in the 50th to 74th percentiles, within the accepted normal range, during adolescence was associated with increased cardiovascular and all-cause mortality during 40 years of follow-up. it is strongly associated with increased cardiovascular mortality in adulthood”, said a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Obesity and Chronic Diseases

Obesity in women was linked to higher rates of osteoporosis, breast cancer, arthritis and other complications, A study showed . It also contributed to 40% of their heart problems. Moreover, your chances of developing diabetes goes up by 77% if you are overweight. There are over 200 million obese people in Europe alone, which tells you the extent of this epidemic.

According to Stanford Health Care, it has these long term effects on your body :

High Blood Pressure :  Additional fat tissue in the body needs oxygen and nutrients in order to live, which requires the blood vessels to circulate more blood to the fat tissue. This increases the workload of the heart because it must pump more blood through additional blood vessels.

Type 2 Diabetes : Obesity is the major cause of type 2 diabetes. It causes a resistance to insulin, which keeps the blood sugar level high.

Heart Disease : Obesity can cause deposits of fat to build up in the arteries which cause a reduction of blood flow to the heart. This is a major cause for coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis (hardening of the artery) and stroke.

Cancer: Several studies have explored why being overweight or obese may increase cancer risk and growth.

The possible reasons that obesity is linked with cancer include:

-Increased levels of insulin and insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which may help some cancers develop

-Chronic, low-level inflammation, which is more common in people who are obese is linked with an increased cancer risk

-Higher amounts of estrogen produced by fat tissue, which can drive the development of some cancers, such as breast and endometrial cancers

-Fat cells may affect processes that regulate cancer cell growth.

Joint problems: Being overweight or obese can cause the cartilage on the end of your bones to become damaged or worn and this can ultimately lead to stiffness and sometimes swelling in your joint.

Sleep apnea and other sleep related problems: Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Excess body weight contributes to sleep apnea by causing increased pressure on upper airways, leading to collapse and decreased neuromuscular control from the fatty deposits. These fatty deposits contribute to decreased lung volume and make it more difficult to breathe.


In conclusion, only one thing can be said, even if it’s a long and painful process : there is a road to recovery. Healthy changes in one’s lifestyle can help. Changes such as a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and taking help for your mental problems go a long way. Also, restraining yourself from sugars and caffeine is essential. Obesity is a dangerous epidemic, but with careful and efficient planning, it can be countered effectively.

Mugdha Pradhan
Functional Nutritionist

With a Master’s degree in nutrition and two decades’ experience in health and wellness, Mugdha has successfully healed many people at iThrive (Previously ThriveFNC) since 2017. Mugdha herself was struggling with finding solutions when her health took a nosedive. With modern principles of functional medicine and ancient wisdom about food, paired with spirituality, she beat several chronic illnesses.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.