About three-quarters of American adults are overweight, according to data from the CDC. Of those, more than half meet or exceed the criteria for obesity, and almost 10% are defined as severely obese.
Being overweight is nothing to be ashamed of — but it is something you should be concerned about. That’s because even a relatively modest amount of excess weight can increase your risk of serious medical problems.
The team at Phoenix Heart offers patient-centered weight-loss plans aimed at improving your health and your quality of life. If you’re overweight, here’s how those extra pounds could be putting your health at risk.
Determining your risks
Most of us carry around a few extra pounds, and in most cases, that’s not going to significantly increase your risk of illness. Doctors use body mass index (BMI) to evaluate your weight and your risks of developing those medical problems.
Body mass index is a ratio of your height to your weight. The CDC offers a simple BMI calculator on its website here.
- A BMI between 18-24.9 is normal
- A BMI between 24.9-29.9 is overweight
- A BMI of 30 and over is obese
BMI isn’t the only tool used to determine your weight-related health risks. At our practice, our team uses BMI and other factors to determine your overall health risks, as well as your treatment plan.
Health dangers of obesity
When you’re carrying around a lot of extra weight, those pounds put significant excess demands and pressure on your organs, blood vessels, and even your bones and joints. Being overweight can also interfere with your hormones, your metabolism, your blood sugar, and even your sleep.
In fact, obesity can affect just about every part and every system of your body, increasing your risks of medical issues like:
- Some types of cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gallbladder disease
- Liver and kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
- Thyroid disease
Extra weight puts a special strain on your cardiovascular system, significantly increasing your risks of:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Coronary artery disease
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Atherosclerosis (“hardening” of the arteries)
- Varicose veins
- Blood clots
- Atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias
The one good thing about obesity: It’s completely reversible, and when you lose weight, you reduce your risks of developing one of these serious medical problems. Even losing 5-10% of your body weight can dramatically improve your health now and in the future.
One more note: While this post deals with obesity, many of these risks are also elevated when you’re overweight (but not obese). Doing all you can to achieve and maintain a normal, healthy body weight is vitally important for your health, no matter how old you are.
Lose the pounds, improve your health
Losing weight can be challenging, but having a medical team on your side gives you the edge when it comes to dropping those extra pounds. Our team will customize your weight-loss plan for your health needs, your lifestyle, and other factors, giving you the support you need to successfully complete your weight-loss journey.
To learn more about the weight-loss solutions we offer at our practices in Glendale, Goodyear, Anthem, and Canyon City, Arizona, call or book an appointment online today.