We all must have heard that being overweight or worse, morbidly obese can be detrimental to your health and quality of life.
The answer: very detrimental.
It’s so bad that the average medical student when asked to write down factors for any disease condition, you heard me right, any disease condition at all, will write down obesity if he doesn’t remember any other thing, and he’ll be correct more than 80% of the time.
80% of all non-infective disease condition are directly or indirectly associated with obesity and excessive body weight. From the common Type 2 diabetes Melitus, to the also common high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, to gynaecology conditions such as fibroids, polycystic ovary disease, even breast cancer.
You talk about childbirth complications and you can’t leave out obesity as a very important predisposing factor, mention child birth complications like gestational diabetes, eclampsia and pre-eclampsia which are very deadly complications in child birth, in lay man terms you can call them seizures in pregnancy.
If you have ever witnessed someone having a fit(a seizure) then the mental picture of a woman close to the 9th month of her pregnancy having a seizure should scare you.
I’ve witnessed one myself, the it’s one of the most gruesome scene I’ve seen all my life. As if that’s not enough, the health of the child can be tremendously affected by the weight of the mother, some congenital disorders in the newly born babies are strongly linked to maternal Obesity, life threatening conditions like congenital heart defects (hole in the heart and others) and neural tube defects (disorders of the spine in new born babies) to mention but a few.
We can write a full page essay on effects of maternal weight on pregnancy outcome alone.
Obesity is a major predisposing factor for type 2 diabetes which is a major cause of erectile dysfunction in men. Obesity is linked to gout, osteoarthritis, stroke, gallstones and other gall bladder diseases and research has shown a link between obesity cancers such as colon cancer, some oesophageal cancers, cancers of the uterus, kidneys and gall bladder.
We’ve definitely painted obesity as a monster without saying what obesity is and secondly it will be worthy of note that not all obese or overweight individuals will suffer these health conditions but there chances of developing such disease conditions will be greatly decreased if they loose weight.
So what does it mean to be obese or overweight. It’s doesn’t necessarily mean being fat though it’s not possible to be slim and overweight at the same time. Obesity is body mass index above 30. If your body mass index is between 25-30 then you’re overweight..
Body mass index is the relationship between your height and weight. It’s calculated but dividing your weight in meters by your height in meters squared.
Body mass index between 18.5 and 25 is normal. Below 18.5 is underweight, which has its own health complications.
How Detrimental is obesity and overweight, I bet you can answer that question now by yourself.
The way forward is simply lifestyle modification, exercise and dieting basically. That will be the topic of do for another day.
By Anike Chukwu Ebuka Malcom – 9News Nigeria