The Effects of Obesity in Adults

Last Updated: 19 May 2021
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In today's society overeating can create a vast amount of changes, that may affect lifestyles of daily living. According to CDC, more than one-third of U.S. adults were obese in 2011-2012. The effects of obesity can lead a person down a road, which can be hard to manage in life. A BMI of 30 is about 30 lb overweight and equivalent to 221 lb in a 6'0" person and to 186 lb in one 5'6". The National Institutes of Health (NIH) now defines normal weight, overweight, and obesity according to BMI rather than the traditional height/weight charts (NIH). People with a body mass index of 30 or more are considered obese, and those with a B.M.I. of 40 or more are severely obese (NYTimes). Obese individuals have a high risk for chronic health conditions and complications.

To name a few: hypertension, cardiovascular disease, knee / joint problems, psychological issues, diabetes, and death. Obesity is a measure by body mass index, which is determined by height and weight. If a person gains between 10-20 pounds they are at a high risks of hypertension (OAC). As you gain weight, so does stress throughout the body which causes hypertension. The more food and drink a person consumes in turn will increase their sodium level. Due to the increase of sodium and fat into the diet the endocrine system is forced to compensate and can result in an increase in blood pressure.

Hypertension is a chronic condition caused by an increase in blood pressure and is a common complication for obese patients.Abdominal distention is a common complication due to layers of fat that have accumulated on top of muscle. The abdominal wall compressing against the diaphragm causes discomfort for an obese patient and also limits sleeping positions. Sleep apnea is another common complication of obese patients due to the softening of the tissue in the mouth and throat causing the airway to be obstructed. Many of these patients must be placed on a bipap machine while they sleep to help regulate their breathing. Obesity is also associated with knee and joint issues.

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Increase weigh strains the body, as a person tries to walk with additional weight. Ideal body weight is classified as 50 kilograms for 5 ft. Anything past 5ft is multiplied by 2.3 + 50 to get ideal body weight. For example; a 6'0 ft person ideal body weight would be 50 + 2.3 x 12 equals 77.6 kilograms. Any weight above the average weight is considered obese. Over time the tissues and connective tendons become damaged from the strain of the weight that is bearing down on the knee. Being only 10 pounds overweight increases the force on the knee by 30-60 pounds with each step (John Hopkins). Being overweight increases, the load placed on the joints such as the knee, which increases stress and could possibly hasten the breakdown of cartilage (John Hopkins).

Clearly increase weight does have significant impact on walking, causing fatigue, and joint / knee issues.Psychological consequences of being overweight or obese can include lowered self-esteem and anxiety, and more serious disorders such as depression and eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia and anorexia (MentalHelp). Obese people are made fun of and looked down upon. Obese people have less energy, due to taking more momentum to get their body going. More weight means more force needed to get moving. Hollywood paints an image that everyone around is thin. When it comes to obese people there's a tendency for depression, trying to compare with society. While being depressed obese people have a tendency to want to eat more and lay around doing nothing. Within that mind state leads to eating more and gaining additional weight. Over time, even ordinary tasks of daily life like going up a flight of stairs can lead to exhaustion and a sense of premature aging (Mentalhelp).

Diabetes is another consequence associated with being obese. Obese people have a tendency, to eat more sweets, and carbohydrates that turn into glucose. People who are overweight or have obesity have added pressure on their body's ability to use insulin to properly control blood sugar levels, and are therefore more likely to develop diabetes (Obesity Society). Obese people are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, which often occurs in children or adolescents, is caused by the body's inability to make insulin or type 2 diabetes, which occurs as a result of the body's inability to react properly to insulin (insulin resistance). Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent than type 1 diabetes and is therefore seen in roughly 90% of all diabetes cases (Obesity Society).

Compared with normal-weight adults, obese adults had at least 20% significantly higher rate of dying with cardiovascular disease (NIH). Plaque builds up due to more fats in diet, which leads to coronary artery disease. As the buildup continues throughout duration of life, so does blockage in the coronary arteries. A block in the coronary arteries with cause decrease cardiac output. With the decrease in blood flow, cardiac tissue death starts to form. Blockage in the heart creates myocardial infarction. Prolong tissue necrosis will lead to cardia death, resulting in death itself. For CVD, death was advanced by 10.3 and 12.8 years in adults aged 45 to 64 years categorized as grades II and III obese (Luisa N. Borrell).

Obesity can cause a lot of issues that can be detrimental to activities of daily living. Just as a little of increase weight, the body starts to break itself down. While, normal healthy adult weight is less than BMI of 26, and obesity is anything above BMI 30. A little increase in weight can be life altering. The activities daily living related with obesity decreases in an adult's life. Several different diseases are involved with obesity, most can be cured with just a minor decrease in weight.

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The Effects of Obesity in Adults. (2018, Apr 25). Retrieved from

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