There are a variety of health issues that can arise when someone is overweight or obese. In addition to these health issues, overweight or obese individuals may also experience chronic pain due to carrying excess weight. Furthermore, when someone of a normal healthy weight experiences chronic pain, it can often lead to being overweight or obese due to not being as active.
When someone is overweight, doctors usually define this as weighing 10% to 20% higher than the “normal” weight for their height and body type, as indicated on standard height/weight charts. The body-mass index (BMI) is also used to indicate whether or not someone is at their optimal weight.
When someone has a BMI of 25 to 30, they are usually considered to be overweight. If someone is obese, then they will weigh over 20% than what is considered a normal weight for them. Recent data shows that approximately one in every three American adults would be considered obese given these parameters.
Weight-Related Health Issues
It’s been shown that when someone loses just five to ten percent of their weight, they can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Excess weight can also contribute to or exacerbate existing issues, such as chronic knee and back pain.
Chronic pain can affect a person’s overall enjoyment of life and activity level. Nearly 59% of the individuals that suffer with chronic pain have reported that this has been their experience. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reported that 80% of adults will experience low-back pain at some time during their lives.
At some point during their lives, around 39.6% of men and women will receive a cancer diagnosis. Given the various types of cancers, there are some which observational studies show may be linked to obesity, according to the National Cancer Institute. While these studies have not shown whether or not there is a definitive connection, there are several forms of cancer that appear to have one.
The National Cancer Institute also indicates that endometrial cancer is roughly two to four times more likely to arise in overweight or obese women. Gastric cardia cancer, for example, is twice as common with obese individuals.
Postmenopausal women with a higher BMI have a “modest” increased risk for breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. When women are obese, they have a 20% to 40% increased risk. It’s important to note that obese men also face an increased risk of breast cancer. In order to reduce the risk of breast-cancer related deaths, mammography screening is recommend for women between the ages of 65 to 74 every two years.
Currently, 54% of American adults are attempting to lose weight. Approximately 50%, however, claim that they haven’t been successful due to a lack of discipline. In this case, a doctor supervised weight loss program may be beneficial. These types of programs will provide education on healthier meal choices, regular physical activities, and support groups.
Recent figures show that just a small percentage of adults engage in enough physical activity. Fewer than five percent engage in 30 minutes a day, and just one in three engage in the recommended weekly amount. It’s important to consulting with a physician about the type and level of activity that would be appropriate, however.
Many people have opted for surgical procedures such as gastric bypass surgery or stomach reduction surgery to assist them. Since this is a surgical procedure, a physician will need to determine whether or not someone is a good candidate for this procedure.
Regular Physician Visits
Visiting a primary care physician on a regular basis is important for these and other issues. In this way, people have access to doctor supervised weight loss programs, occupational therapists, mammograms, and other types of diagnostic tools.
While there doesn’t appear to be a connection between obesity and skin cancer, it is common among adults. As a result, it’s important to consult with skin cancer doctors when unusual growths appear. Skin cancer doctors can determine whether or not a particular growth is cancerous through diagnostic testing. Furthermore, skin cancer doctors will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment protocols. Skin cancer doctors are also an excellent resource for learning about preventing further cancerous growths.