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Hidden, dangerous excessive fat is linked with various health-related issues. Excessive body fat accumulation can cause many chronic diseases. This article will tell you all you need to know about the impact and hidden dangers of excessive body fat, belly fat and weight gain on your health and why managing your weight and body fat is crucial.
The health problems caused by excess body weight and body fat are often referred to as lifestyle diseases or non-communicable diseases. Some examples of lifestyle diseases caused by excess weight/fat are Type 2 diabetes, PCOS and fatty liver disease.
Body fat, also called adipose tissue, is a connective tissue that extends throughout your body. The most common storage areas are under your skin, called subcutaneous fat and between your internal organs, which is called visceral fat. For most people, excess weight is largely accumulated around the belly. While it might seem harmless, it’s far from it.
This may come as a surprise, but excess weight (fat) does not just sit quietly in your body. It is causing trouble all the time.
Think of it as a back-bencher in school that is always up to mischief.
Body fat is primarily known for storing and releasing energy and providing insulation. However, scientists now recognize that it’s also an active organ in your endocrine (hormone) system. Body fat contains nerve cells and blood vessels and communicates through hormone signals with other organs throughout your body. It has several important functions in regulating whole-body health. But these can malfunction if you have too much or too little of it.
There are many hidden dangers of excessive body fat. Excess body fat and weight has been linked to most of the health problems we are seeing around us today:
In short, it will cause harm so the sooner you deal with it, the better. Even the World Health Organization has highlighted this as a big problem globally, on its website.
Sadly the answer is Yes. The numbers tell a clear story, as follows:
The reason for this?
Excess food + not enough activity. We live in a very different world than a decade ago and with that come many comforts, as well as problems. We spend too much time sitting, and have access to more food than we need.
This is also backed up with the data.
The good news is that you can fix this through lifestyle changes that are in your control.
There are many ways to measure body weight and body fat. Let us look at the main options below.
This is one number that is very easy for most people to measure. And for many, you will have a number in mind as to what your ideal weight should be.
However, it can be very arbitrary and unscientific. And in many cases it can be unrealistic also.
As an example, all of the below women weigh the same – who is healthy and who is not?
It can be impossible to tell just from their weight, so it is best to consider other measures that factor height and other factors also to give you a more personalized target.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a well-known criteria for categorizing obesity. Body Mass Index is a proportion which is obtained between the body weight (kg) and height (M). The formula is Kgs/M2
As you may know, it indicates whether your body weight is appropriate for your height. You can calculate BMI with the help of a BMI calculator.
What you may not know is that the range of BMI for Asians (and Indians) is different.
This is partly due to genetics which means that Indians are at higher risk of diseases like Diabetes at lower BMIs.
Here is a snapshot of the WHO and Asian BMI cut-off points.
So if you’re checking your BMI, use the numbers on the right hand column.
If your BMI is over 23, you are overweight and need to start thinking about reducing your weight through better diet, exercise and sleep habits.
If you’d like a more accurate measure than BMI, try the Waist-Height ratio (WHR). It’s better than BMI as a measure of health.
In summary, the WHR measure says that your waist should be less than half your height.
Measure your waist around your belly button, and not your trouser size.
If your WHR is over 0.50 then you need to reduce your weight to bring your WHR under 0.50.
You may wonder why waist measurement is used here. Research over the last 30 years has shown that fat accumulation around the waist is much more problematic than fat deposits elsewhere in the body. So dealing with belly fat is the best way to avoid health issues like Diabetes.
In the Daily9 weight loss program, we measure WHR and track it on a weekly basis with the target being to reach a WHR below 0.50.
Obesity affects almost all body functions. The following explains how obesity and excessive body fat affects health.
Excessive body fat accumulation contributes significantly to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Obesity can damage the body’s metabolism and alter Insulin’s hormone function. When there are excess fat tissues all over the body, the body becomes less sensitive to Insulin. Significantly waist obesity contributes to the development of diabetes.
Without your awareness, excessive calories, like cholesterol, may accumulate inside the blood vessels. This leads to exerting more pressure on the heart and disturbs blood circulation. A large number of people who are obese suffers from high blood pressure and cardiac problems. High blood pressure may damage vital organs too.
Excessive fat accumulation may elevate blood cholesterol levels leading to a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes and vascular disabilities.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Obese people, may develop fat tissues around the neck muscles. So it becomes difficult for obese people to breathe during sleep leading to sleep apnea. This is a lesser known issue among the hidden dangers of excessive body fat.
Excess fat accumulates around the liver in this case. The liver is a vital organ which performs multiple tasks. When fat accumulates within the liver, it becomes difficult for the liver to function well.
Also Read: Diet Plan To Reduce Belly Fat
Another harmful effect of fat can be damage to the gallbladder. It can contribute to the development of gallstones.
Kidneys are excretory organs and also perform some endocrine functions. When you become obese, it causes your kidneys to work harder. Because of this, the kidneys get fatigued with time and it slowly reduces their ability to function.
One of the hidden dangers of excessive body fat is its impact on your joints, especially your lower back, knees and ankles. Obesity may contribute to joint problems such as arthritis, muscle pain and many other muscular and joint issues.
The good news is that even a 5% reduction in your body weight through the right approach can reduce your risk of these health problems.
Fat loss is a means to good health.
All the science (and our experience at Daily9) tells us that losing excess weight/fat = improved health. But doing it right is important.
It is not just about hitting a weight number. How you get there matters.
So how do you get there?
Starve yourself? Wrong.
Google latest fad diet or supplement? Wrong.
Overwork yourself with too much exercise? Wrong.
Use proven science to develop good food, activity and sleep habits? Correct.
Losing excess body fat and keeping it off requires a scientific & structured approach. This means considering diet, exercise and sleep and focusing on a balanced diet.
With fat loss, insulin sensitivity improves, blood pressure is lowered, and the heart starts to function better. With such changes, the hormonal levels and the body metabolism reverse back, making you healthier. Fat loss exercise helps you also to cut off excess fat and improve muscle growth.
A hidden danger exists inside your body when you have accumulated excess fat. Use the information in this article to become aware of the hidden dangers of excessive body fat. Understanding the risks associated with excess fat may self-motivate you towards weight reduction and taking the right steps to improve your body weight and health.
If you feel lost or frustrated, seek out expert help, like the Daily9 program. Having an expert to guide & support you can save you years of trial and error and help you achieve your goal weight and stay there in the long term.
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