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6/23/2015

3FrighteningFactsofBeingObese(andWhatItMeansInPlainLanguage)

3 Frightening Facts of Being Obese (And What


It Means in Plain Language)

by Alejandra "Alex" Ruani Get free science updates here[1]

Photo Credit: flicker[2]


Obesity is on the rise.
The term obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or over[3]. Being obese will drag the
human body, mind and spirit down into an abyss of health issues ranging from daily
aches and pains to stroke, disease and death.
A 33-year-long study, published[4] in the Lancet medical journal, found that about
2.1 billion people 30% of the planet are overweight or obese.
Appropriately named as the Global Burden of Disease Study, it concluded that 67% of
men and 57% of women are either overweight or obese in the UK alone[5]. The stats on
obese and overweight children clock in at roughly 27%.
Even many doctors, nurses and medical staff are obese! 700,000 UK medical staff[6]
were told to lose weight for patients sake.
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If nurses and doctors are obese themselves, is there anyhope?..

The general health horrorsof obesity


There are health dangers associated with being overweight and obese. Maybe you have
read or heard about them.
Theyre packaged into categories[7] like heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems,
cancer, skin infections, sleep apnea and infertility, to name a few of the major ones[8].
Fatty liver disease (non alcoholic), osteoarthritis and psychological/social problems
fill another bucket of woes[9] related to being obese.
What about the real life stuff, deep inside those health horrors of obesity? If you are
obese or have a client who is literally weighed down with this condition, maybe its
time to considerwhat it really means, in plain language.

1. Activities of daily living might become a burden to your


body
Activities of daily living (ADLs) are defined as[10]the things we normally do such as
feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, and leisure. They
are part of ourself-care tasks and fundamental to functioning in the world.
ADLs can also branch out into using the stairs, playing with the kids, walking to the
bus stop, shopping, housework, getting dressed, gardening, and just plain moving
around in the world.
When you are obese, these daily normal activities can be a burden on your body. You
are more susceptible to falls, injury and disability[11].
Being heavy changes your physical experience of the world, says researcher Krista
Scott-Dixon[12]. It is just harder to move when you have excess weight on your body.
She explains how difficult it can to comprehend the dangerous cycle of inertia that
heavy people inhabit if youve never had that physical discomfort.

2. You might leak from both ends


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A heavy belly and a big body will push foods back up. Its calledgastroesophageal
reflux[13]. Its also known as GERD or heartburn.
This is actually quite common in obese people. Food and stomach acid can wash back
up into the oesophagus, causing a burning sensation. Thats leakage going in.
A heavy belly pressing against the bladder presents another concern at the other end
involving urination. Its called urinary incontinence and obese women[14] can have
several of these episodes a week. Besides pushing urine out without your consent, it
may also make someone more vulnerable toother lower urinary tract symptoms[15].

3. Youre setting yourself up to possibly die younger


Obesity is killing peopleearly and often[16].
It is estimated[17] that up to 400,000 deaths a year in the EU are caused by overweightrelated illnesses. That is almost the same number[18] of people who die each year from
breast cancer.
Coronary artery disease, diabetes and cancer are three of the bigger health risks
associated with being obese. Excess weight will invariably erode on the very life
supporting systems we depend on daily to function in the world.
These large scale complications can impact ones future,decreasing the quality and
length of life[19].

In closing (and saving ones life)


The need to lose weight for an obese person is not for cosmetic reasons. In plain
language, it is to save ones life. The frightening reality of being obese is that every
day can be a struggle.
It may not seem like an easy road ahead. Working full-time, family, pressures of time
management and general stress can all seem to get in the way of succeeding in a
weight loss plan.
Besides physical health problems complicating life, theres the erosion of selfconfidence, self-esteem, willpower and determination.Emotional and mental stress
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can be another weight to bear.


The really good news is that you can do this on your own or with a weight loss
expert[20]. It really is worth turning your ship around to literally save your life.
It hasbeen suggested[21] in theInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and
Physical Activitythat if individuals fully internalise weight loss-related behavioural
goals, and feel not just competent but also autonomous about reaching them, their
efforts are more likely to result in long-lasting behaviour change.
The hardest part may be starting. The best way is to start slow[22] and continue at that
pace. Making new healthy lifestyle changes takes time.
Think about thereal life stuff in your life and what really matters. This is well worth a
look to turn a really good life around for the better.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below if you have ever struggled
with more weight than you like. And if you know someone who could really use a
boost, please share this with them!
Every Thursday we share our research and actionable advicetohelp you and those you
care about. If you enjoyed this, join our FREE updates[23]

Links
1. http://thehealthsciencesacademy.org/free-newsletter/
2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ladylomia/2461866550/
3. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-definition/
4. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)604608/abstract
5. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/29/uk-western-europe-obesitystudy
6. http://rt.com/uk/176700-obese-nhs-staff-patients/
7. http://thinforlife.med.nyu.edu/surgical-weight-loss/obesity/health-risks-morbidobesity
8. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/risks.html
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9. http://www.noo.org.uk/NOO_about_obesity/obesity_and_health/health_risk_adult
10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activities_of_daily_living
11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22150343
12. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/aug/15/exercise-adviceoverweight-people
13. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000265.htm
14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2877497/
15. http://www.simonfoundation.org/About_Incontinence_Contributing_Factors_Obesity.html
16. http://www.mailman.columbia.edu/news/obesity-kills-more-americanspreviously-thought
17. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-171497/Britains-obesity-death-rate.html
18. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959804913000075
19. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesityconsequences/health-effects/
20. http://thehealthsciencesacademy.org/cpd-accredited-cyq-endorsed-clinicalweight-loss-certification/
21. http://www.ijbnpa.org/content/9/1/22
22. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/treatment.html
23. http://thehealthsciencesacademy.org/free-newsletter/

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