Published On: Mon, Jun 17th, 2019

The Impact of Obesity on the Mind and Body

160 million Americans are either obese or overweight.    

Obesity is now larger than a ‘weight’ issue, with the American Medical Association, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and other medical associations terming it as a chronic disease.

In fact, the former first lady of the U.S took childhood obesity and healthy living head-on during her husband’s tenure in office. This, in a bid to slow down the epidemic in future generations.

Obesity affects both the mind and body in significant ways.

Here are some of the effects.

1. Clouded Memory

Obesity is linked to a poorer episodic memory in the 18-35 age bracket.

A study done on this suggested people with a high BMI had problems recalling memories as vividly as people with a healthy BMI.

A different study showed that being obese in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s predisposes one to a higher risk of dementia later on.

2. Hand Coordination

A high body mass index changes brain activities related to neuromuscular function. One of the more obvious signs of this is being unable to grasp.

This makes it harder to perform easy tasks such as holding onto a stair railing or opening a can of pills or food.

3. Creation of Food Addictions

An unhealthy weight gain can desensitize your brain from feeling the pleasure associated with eating fatty and sugary foods.

This then prompts an obese person to eat larger portions of these foods in order to feel a similar ‘high.’  

This is the same effect seen in drug users who will continually have to up their dose to reach the original high.

4. Depression

Obesity is isolating. Because of the physical toll obesity takes on one’s body, even the sheer discomfort of normal socialization activities become difficult.

There is also the fear of stigmatization, feelings of guilt, poor self-image, and so on.

At times, weight issues can cause people to withdraw from society altogether. This isolation can lead to loneliness, which is known to lead to depression.

5. Diabetes

Being grossly overweight is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes.

It does not end there. Type 2 diabetes increases your risk of amputations, blindness, nerve and circulatory defects, strokes, and kidney disease.

6. Sexual Health

Obesity can affect your sex drive, and this goes beyond not feeling ‘sexy.’

Obesity causes other problems such as high cholesterol and insulin resistance. Both of these have the ability to impact sexual performance on varying degrees.

Because both conditions can lead to clogged arteries in the penis, impotence is a common outcome.

ED medication can help with this as you work on your weight loss and management program.

7. Respiratory Disorders

All the excess weight on your body taxes your organs and body systems, including your respiratory system.

Obese people have a diminished lung capacity, increasing their risk for respiratory infections.

Asthma, a common respiratory infection, is known to be 3-4 times more common in obese people.

Another respiratory disorder is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when excess fat in the throat, neck and tongue block the air passage when one is asleep.

This blockage may cause the person to stop breathing severally during the night.

Obstructive sleep apnea can also lead to strokes, heart failure, and pulmonary hypertension

It also disrupts sleep, significantly affecting one’s quality of life.

8. Cancer

90,000 Americans die every year from cancers stemming from excessive weight and obesity.

As your BMI increases, so does your risk of getting cancer.

For people with obesity, the death rate is also significantly higher.

9. Joint and Bone Damage

Severe obesity contributes to joint and bone issues.

These include spine disorders, arthritis, disc herniation, and back pain.

These conditions cause pain and discomfort, are expensive to treat and interfere with the sufferer’s quality of life.

Take Action Today

The good news is that obesity, to a certain degree, is preventable. Begin by calculating your BMI to know where you stand.  You will then be able to make conscious life choices.

If you are already overweight or obese, there are many weight loss options available today. The earlier you take control of your body, the better.

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