Health Risks of obesity

Weight Loss Clinic, Knoxville Weight Loss Center, Diet Clinic Knoxville

Other risks may include: heart attack, stroke, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea.

Risk Factors of Obesity

At New Vision Weight Loss Clinic we recognize that while sedentary lifestyle is the most common cause of obesity, there are some other predisposing risk factors that could put one at an increased risk of being overweight or obese. These include:

  • Genetics
    • There is a lot of contradicting data about whether certain genes play a factor in increasing one’s chance of being obese. The older data states there is a direct relationship between the two, while more recent data from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) states it is a combination of certain genes and outside factors (physical inactivity or abundant food supply) that increase one’s susceptibility to obesity.
  • Family Lifestyle
    • According to research by the National Institute of Health (NIH), it appears that an individual is more likely to gain weight (or become obese) if a close friend or family member has increased their weight. For instance, if one sibling were to become obese, it increased the other sibling's chances of becoming obese by 40 %. Similarly, it concluded if one spouse became obese, it increased the other's chances of becoming obese by 37 %.
  • Medical Problems
    • There are certain medical problems that can increase one’s risk of being obese. These include under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and Cushing’s syndrome.
      1. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This results in feeling fatigued and weak while slowing down one’s metabolism.

      2. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition affecting ~ 5 - 10% of females of child-bearing age. In this condition, there is an increase in androgen hormones, which can cause weight gain, reproductive problems, and excessive hair growth.

      3. Cushing’s syndrome is a condition in which the body makes too much of a hormone called cortisol. The excess of this hormone can cause weight gain, central obesity, and a round-like face.

  • Medications
    • There are certain medications which can increase your appetite, cause you to retain extra water-weight, and/or slow down the rate at which calories are burned in the body. These include seizure medications, antidepressant medications, and most commonly known, corticosteroids.
  • Age
    • As one gets older, he or she tends to lose muscle mass (especially if not active). When this happens, that loss of muscle can slow down the rate at which the body burns calories. According to the NIH, most women gain at least 5 pounds during menopause and have an increased amount of fat tissue around the waist.
  • Lack of Sleep
    • According to the NIH, research has proven a direct link between lack of sleep and obesity.
      1. Without a consistent sleep pattern, there is a direct imbalance of two hormones: ghrelin (makes you feel hungry) and leptin (makes you feel full). When you don’t get enough sleep, or enough consistency, your levels of ghrelin increase, while your leptin levels decrease.
      2. Sleep also affects how the body reacts to insulin. Insulin is the hormone which controls your glucose (sugar) levels. Again, without enough sleep or too much inconsistency with sleep, blood glucose levels may rise, increasing the risk for type 2 diabetes.
      3. Those who sleep fewer hours on a consistent basis were shown to consume foods that were both higher in calories and carbohydrates (leading to weight gain).
  • Smoking Cessation
    • According to the NIH, there are two main reasons that smoking cessation results in weight gain. Nicotine raises the rate at which the body burns calories, so when you stop smoking, there are usually fewer calories burned. The second reason is that food usually tastes better after the cessation smoking.