Why does excess weight affect our health so significantly?

Posted on: 27th Feb, 2017

Even an increase of body mass index from 24 to 32 results in about three years of life lost. Why does this occur exactly? There are a multitude of reasons, and researchers have a look at them from a molecular level all the way up to a more structural level of the body. Starting with the simpler things, excess weight creates a mechanical restriction on the function of bones and joints, but also on the expansion of our lungs and greater resistance to the pumping of the heart. Each of those in its own way leads to wear and tear on the body. In the cellular and molecular level, there is an aging process that causes deterioration of the cells and this is related to factors such as the circulating blood glucose molecules attaching themselves to other important molecules and an acceleration of aging processes including a pro-inflammatory state in which cells and important organs degrade. These include everything from plaques in the arteries leading to strokes, to impairment of neurons involving dementia, to damage to kidneys and the liver. Put simply, less weight means less strain on all the organ systems of the body, and a slower aging and inflammatory process at the cellular level. So everyone should acknowledge that excess weight is unhealthy and shortens life expectancy as well as quality of life. The challenge is how to find better and safer solutions to help millions of people achieve durable weight loss. In the next article I will discuss some of the best worldwide data on major weight-loss efforts utilizing the sophisticated tools of specific diet plans, Coaching, counseling, exercise programs, prescription medications, and concerted programs with structure and follow up. Do they achieve results? A little bit, but not making a meaningful dent in the problem yet, so we need to do better.  ]]>

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