How Obesity Affects the Body

An obese person faces more health risks than a person of average weight. Being that overweight can cause issues like difficulty finding clothes that fit and even sometimes difficulty fitting into seats in places like airplanes and theaters. An obese person also is at much higher risk of things like heart attack and stroke.

An obese person is generally someone who is more than 40 to 75 pounds overweight. A person is considered morbidly obese if they weight 100 pounds or more what they should. Both of these conditions carry elevated health risks.

When you’re obese, your body is carrying more weight than it was designed to carry. This puts extra pressure on bones, muscles and joints. If you think about how much harder it is to carry a sack full of 50 pounds than it is to carry one with 5 pounds, it’s easier to see the burden put on your frame.

Because bones are strong and rugged, the extra weight takes its toll on the weakest part of your frame: the joints. Joints like hips, ankles and knees are at particular risk, because the weight of the entire upper body falls up on them.

Joints are naturally our bodies’ weakest spots because they’re the spots where the bones come together. The knees are at a particular risk in an obese person. The knee is a very complex joint that faces wear and tear with every single step we take.

When someone is obese, there’s much more pressure on the knees than normal. So each step puts twice, triple, sometimes four times the normal pressure or more on those joints. This causes the joints to wear out prematurely and is the reason heavy people often have trouble with their knees.

While hips joints and ankles are at this same risk, it’s the knees that generally carry the brunt of the weight and absorb the pressure, so this is where the injuries often appear first.

Aside from the extra weight on the frame and joints, all that extra weight puts pressure on the body’s systems, too. First of all, large amounts of body fat don’t just show up on the outside, but fatty tissue can form internally around organs.

And large amounts of body fat can actually crowd internal organs and put pressure against them. This pressure can cause the organs to start operating differently, and can interfere with normal bodily functions.

Because the extra weight requires more work of the body to keep going, often blood pressure is elevated and the heart has to work harder than normal. This can be a factor in heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

Also, the extra weight generally means that the person’s diet is poor and too high in calories. This is a major cause of diabetes, which can damage blood vessels, eyes and nerves.

In some cases, people may lose their eyesight or a foot or leg to diabetes because of poor circulation. The good news is that once an obese person starts losing weight, diabetes and other conditions can be reversed.

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