Obesity is a disease that has serious health implications for your general well-being and quality of life. Losing weight can greatly improve your quality of life, but it can also have numerous positive ‘knock effects’ to many areas of day-to-day life such as your self-image, improved sleeping and even better relationships to those close to you both personally and professionally.
Excess body weight leaves you susceptible to health complications such as heart disease and can impact other vital organs within the body. You are far more likely to contract harmful diseases such as diabetes if you are overweight.
Being classified as ‘obese’ or even morbidly obese is not the same as carrying a little bit of extra ‘winter’ weight. Suffering from obesity is a serious condition that greatly supersedes the risks associated with carrying this little bit of ‘extra’ weight. Individuals with a Body Mass Index that is greater than 30 are considered obese and should seek medical assistance straight away.
Your Body Mass Index is a measurement calculated using your height and weight. The figures are designed to give a reasonable ‘ball park’ of your levels of obesity. Whilst it is not a perfect formula (someone who is very muscular, but not very tall will be characterised as obese using the BMI calculation) it is a very good, quick indication of just how serious your situation is in terms of your obesity level.
According to research, individuals with Body Mass Indexes between 30-35 are at risk of shortening their life by several years when compared to their less-obese counterparts. For those with a BMI over 40, one’s lifespan is potentially reduced by ten years by the same comparison, which is roughly what someone who is a serious chain-smoker (over many years) can expect**.
Obesity is not just about a lack of will-power, it is a disease and needs to be recognised as such. To learn more about what it is and its implications on health, we encourage you to read the following material.
** NHMRC, Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government, Canberra, 2033. † Prospective Studies Collaboration, Body Mass Index and cause mortality in 900,000 adults: collaborative analysis of 57 Prospective Studies, The Lancet, 2009; 373:1083-96.