Body Positive. Health Negative.
Understanding the health risks of obesity, and why losing weight matters more for your health than your looks.
There is a big movement going on in the United States right now about reducing the negativity surrounding overweight and obese people, and focusing instead on being body positive. The message is a positive one. Everyone has worth. Everyone has beauty. Your size does not matter in that regard.
This is a beautiful message and is one that is absolutely true. Your size does not determine who you are or your self-worth. But there is some danger lurking behind this body-positive movement. While it is good to feel right in your own skin and to appreciate yourself for who you are, don’t mistake this positivity with an excuse for accepting obesity as inevitable or okay. Appreciating yourself should mean appreciating what your body needs most, and if you are struggling with obesity, then that means finding ways to improve your health.
Obesity and the Body
Obesity has a huge negative impact on the body, coming in at the second largest cause of preventable death in America—second only to cigarette smoking.
When you are overweight or obese, your body is constantly put in a state of high stress. This means that even doing basic tasks like going for a short walk or attempting to focus on a project at work will require hurtles that someone of a healthy weight won’t have to experience. The health burden of obesity puts you at an increased risk for disability and premature death, but also increases your overall medical costs. While it is great to feel love for yourself and who you are, these realities of obesity are not something you want to overlook.
Obesity increases your risk for the following health problems:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders
- High blood pressure
- Chronic heartburn or GERD
- Certain cancers
- Anxiety, depression and other mood disorders
- Gallbladder disease
The longer you struggle with obesity the larger your chances of developing at least one of these health problems. For most people who struggle with obesity, it is common to develop a handful of chronic health issues that are directly associated with obesity.
Losing weight is challenging, but not impossible. If you are struggling with obesity then it is time to speak to a weight loss doctor about finding ways to make big changes to your lifestyle. If you love yourself, then you’ll do what is right for your personal health and wellbeing. For many people with obesity, that means making the choice for weight loss surgery and finally losing weight.