Most people are well aware of some of the most serious and notable effects of obesity – factors such as cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes, for example. However, the real impact of obesity is much greater than most individuals, including the majority of those facing this issue, realize. This is especially concerning given the rising numbers of individuals faced with obesity and the additional challenges that obese individuals face when attempting to achieve weight loss goals.


At the most fundamental level, obesity can lead to innumerable changes to the physical structure of one’s body. Though some of these changes are reversible, others are not, and individuals with obesity may find that they develop problems such as orthopedic impact to the joints of the hip, knee, and back. In addition to the fact that these can be painful conditions, these issues can severely limit the amount of physical activity that an individual engage in, in turn making it even more difficult to achieve lasting weight loss.


Apart from heart disease and diabetes, numerous other medical conditions are associated with obesity. Among them are nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cirrhosis, which can be life threatening under extreme circumstances. These types of disorders are of particularly concern to obese individuals, as they are often “invisible” prior to the onset of symptoms, at which point the condition is already somewhat serious. Obese individuals are also far more at risk for strokes, for gallstones and certain types of cancer (such as colon cancer and breast cancer in women).


In addition to the physical effects of obesity, it is also important to pay attention to the fact that obesity can in many cases have a profound effect on the mental health of individuals faced with the disorder. It is true that individuals who suffer from depression and other related mood disorders are more at risk for obesity as a result of the lifestyle factors that play into their disorder. It is also true that obese individuals may be more at risk of developing depression. This may be because of factors such as reduced confidence in their appearance and lethargy.


Fortunately, individuals can reduce their risk factor for the vast majority of medical conditions related to obesity simply by losing weight and sustaining a healthy weight afterwards. One thing that is crucial to keep in mind is that many of the worst conditions related to obesity require an individual to be overweight for a sustained period. Therefore by acting early, a person can vastly curtail their chances of developing one of the more severe obesity related disorders.


There is no right or wrong time for an obese individual to take the steps needed to better their health. Whether they are not presently showing symptoms of medical conditions such as hypertension or diabetes or they have been diagnosed with a serious condition related to their weight, weight loss can help them to have a longer, healthier, and much happier life.

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