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15 Serious Health Consequences of Being Overweight or Obese

An estimated 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese. The distinction between overweight and obese is a matter of quantity. Obese individuals simply have more body fat. Both these physical conditions significantly increase morbidity from many well known chronic health conditions. Following are a variety of common conditions found in overweight and obese indiviuals:

1) Metabolic Syndrome X. A cluster of cardiac symptoms which increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke.

2) Angina Pectoris. An often severe, constricting chest pain.

3) Pre-Diabetes. Reversible, but if left unchecked could lead to diabetes type 2. Diabetes type 2 has risk factors such as kidney disease, heart failure, amputation and blindness.

4) Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is a hormonal disorder which leads to infertility in women. It can also cause excess facial hair, male pattern baldness and certain skin conditions.

5) Loss of muscle tone and bone density due to inability or refusal to exercise. As time goes by, there is muscle loss and the mineral content of the bones decreases. Loss of muscle tone leads to loss of strength to do simple daily activities. Loss of bone density could lead to dangerous falls and fractures.

6) High Blood Pressure (HBP). Normal Blood Pressure is 120/80 (mm hg) and represents the pressure within your arterial system. Overweight and obese individuals often have readings above 140/90 which is high. HBP is known as the "silent killer" because it has no symptoms.

7) High Cholesterol Levels. Cholesterol profiles tend to be suboptimal. This can lead to other forms of heart and circulatory disease.

8) Coronary Artery Disease. This is caused when plaque builds up inside the arteries that supply the heart. Restricting the blood supply could cause a heart attack.

9) Arteriosclerosis. This involves a hardening of the arteries, making them hard and brittle often leading to a stroke.

10) High blood insulin levels. This is a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease.

11) Gallstones and other gall bladder related problems.

12) Psychological imbalances such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and low self esteem.

13)Sleep apnea. This can lead to a heart attack by restricting oxygen to the brain and cause other respiratory difficulties.

14)Urinary control problems such as incontinence.

15)Cancer. Some types of cancer including colon, prostrate, and breast have been linked to obesity.

The number of both adults and children falling into the subgroups of overweight and obese grows each year. New research is linking overfat with more and more chronic health conditions. The above list is by no means inclusive. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of ailments where an individual's percentage body fat may have an influence. A word to the wise is to maintain a normal percentage body fat for optimal health and living.

About the Author: Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge nutrition and weight loss news go to

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