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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What health concerns are associated with obesity?

    Related Topic
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  • Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    Obesity can bring many health hazards. Heart disease, heart attacks strokes, Type 2 Diabetes are complicated by obesity. In fact gaining weight can precipitate developing Type 2 Diabetes. Obesity can lead to complications such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol (blood lipids), complications after surgery, gynaecological problems, gestational diabetes. For men obesity is a greater risk that can lead to colon cancer, rectum and prostate cancer. For women the risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, ovaries, gallbladder, and the bile ducts are greater. The burden of excess fat strains the skeletal system. - aggravating arthritis, especially in the knees, hips, and lower spine. The muscles that support the belly may give in, resulting in abdominal hernias. When the leg muscles are abnormally fatty they fail to contract efficiently to help blood return from the leg veins to the heart; blood collects in the leg veins and can lead to the development of varicose veins. Gout is more common, and even the accident rate is greater for the severely obese.Social, emotional and economic disadvantages plague the obese.For many guilt, depression, withdrawal, self blame are psychological accompaniments of obesity!

  • Aidan Ma

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Obesity is a chronic disease so there are quite a number of health concerns that are related to it. Being obese is related to having an excess amount of body fat and this can actually impact on the effectiveness of a number of organs in your body. One organ in particular is the pancreas which is located quite close to the abdomen region. Over time this additional fat can impair the functioning of the pancreas’ role in insulin regulation. This can lead to high blood glucose levels which can ultimately lead to Type II Diabetes, a common chronic progressive condition in Australia. Diabetes can lead on to other complications related to the eye, nerves, kidney and feet.

    Another health concern is the nature of inflammation associated with obesity. Inflammation can lead to damage to cells over time and this has been linked to a number of cancers in the body. For men, they are at risk of colon, rectum, and prostate cancers. In women the more common cancers are breast, uterus, and gall bladder-based. A high saturated fat intake in the diet which is a common feature of obesity can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, over time this can lead to high blood cholesterol levels. Also related is hypertension, which is high blood pressure. These risk factors can lead to a stroke or heart attack, as well.

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