Weight & Wisdom: Obesity as a Risk Factor

Obesity has become increasingly prevalent in the United States over the past few decades. Obesity is determined by body mass index (BMI), which is a ratio between an individual’s weight and height. Some may attribute the rise in obesity to the poor American diet. Others believe this increase is associated with the rise of technology, and the subsequent decrease in physical activity. Unfortunately, African American women are disproportionately affected by this condition as 80% of Black women are overweight or obese.¹ Below, you will find the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight.

Health conditions linked to obesity

Obesity is linked to several chronic diseases including the following:

  1. Diabetes. Obesity is the primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Obese women are at least 28 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in comparison to women of normal weight.²
  1. Cardiovascular disease. Obesity can have negative impacts on heart health. Excessive fat can raise bad cholesterol levels. Also, obesity can cause an increase in blood pressure, which may eventually lead to heart attack. Heart attacks are more prevalent among obese individuals. 
  1. Cancer. Obesity is linked to 13 types of cancer.³ These include cancers that predominantly affect women such as breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers. Researchers believe obesity can trigger inflammation from the immune system and cause imbalance in hormone regulation which may lead to the development of cancer. 
  1. Mental health. In addition to physical health, obesity can impact emotional and mental wellness. Those who are obese are likely to experience depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.⁴ 

There are many more conditions that are linked to obesity in addition to what is mentioned above. The good news is, losing weight is not impossible! At Trust Women’s Healthcare, we offer medically-managed weight loss services. If you are ready to transform your health, schedule an appointment with us!

  1.  Obesity and African Americans | Office of Minority Health. Accessed November 3, 2023. https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/obesity-and-african-americans
  2.  Barnes AS. The epidemic of obesity and diabetes: trends and treatments. Tex Heart Inst J. 2011;38(2):142-144.
  3.  Obesity and Cancer | CDC. Published August 14, 2023. Accessed November 13, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/obesity/index.htm
  4.  Sarwer DB, Polonsky HM. The Psychosocial Burden of Obesity. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2016;45(3):677-688. doi:10.1016/j.ecl.2016.04.016

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