3 ways being overweight can ruin your life
“What’s a few extra pounds?! I don’t smoke, drink only small amounts on occasion, and now someone’s babbling on about being overweight? So, in the mirror I don’t look real great, but is it really deadly“?
I thought this while listening to Dr. Robert Rakowski, teaching how being overweight can not only hurt me, but can shatter the lives of those around me as well. After many hours, I finally “got it”. The responsibility to maintain my weight is not only to myself, but also my to my family, for so many reasons. If you’ve ever wondered how being overweight can ruin your life, here’s several clear ways:
1. Being overweight increases the likelihood that you’ll die from cancer. A (huge) 16-year study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2003). Of the 900,000 adults studied, deaths from cancer of the kidney, gallbladder, liver, and deaths from lymphoma were increased in people that were overweight. Women showed a marked increase in cancer of the uterus, and the breast were also increased when compared to their normal weight counterparts. Men showed an increase of bowel, esophagus, and leukemia.
Want to drastically increase your chance of dying from cancer? Stay overweight.
So many people have no idea that lifestyle affects cancer likelihood; they think cancer is something that “sneaks up” on a certain, unlucky population that has no control over it. This study, among many others not listed shows exactly the opposite.
2. Being overweight increases the likelihood you’ll die of heart disease. Although it’s been a while since we’ve seen it, my wife Shari and I love The Biggest Loser. One of the greatest illustrations I’ve seen that explains this was when Dr H. would analyze MRI’s of the new contestants. If you’ve never seen it, I’ll explain that the hearts of the contestants were frequently pushed to the side due to being crowded from all the fat surrounding it, thus making it much tougher for the heart to beat. Contestants would often gasp at this illustration because they finally saw how their fat directly affected their heart. Furthermore, because all the fat needs a blood supply, the heart also must work harder in order to push blood through it, making it once again, much tougher for the heart to beat. This leaves an overweight person more likely to develop congestive heart failure. After the contestants would lose the weight, their new MRI would show a drastic decrease in fat surrounding the heart.
The American Heart Association states the following: “Even when there are no adverse effects on the known risk factors, obesity by itself increases risk of heart disease”. Numerous other studies have also been shown that overweight people as well as obese people have increased likelihood of heart disease.
3. Being overweight increases the risk that you’ll have a stroke. Again, there are many studies that demonstrate this. One particular study was published in the journal Stroke. According toDr. Pasquale Strazzullo of Frederico II University of Naples Medical School in Naples, Italy (2010), overweight people are far more likely to develop a stroke than normal weight people. If you think about it, when the heart is stressed, the blood vessels are also stressed. Sooner or later, those particularly vulnerable blood vessels in the brain become susceptible to rupturing. When they rupture, they cause damage to the surrounding tissue, and we have what’s known as a stroke.
Sometimes, I read facts, and my eyes glaze over. If you’re anything like me, you may have done the same while reading
But last week, I met Kristen, a great person, who despite some exercise, has been very overweight for a large part of her life. Until several months ago, she was active, a devoted mother, and ambitious manager at a large company until she suffered a stroke at 39 years old. Now, she’s enslaved by a wheel chair, and cannot get the left side of her body out of a constant spastic contraction. Her newly-titled caregiver daughter must now wipe Kristen’s butt, be her constant attendant, and Kristen can talk only in small, choppy sentences. She lost her high-paying position, and her daughter will not be attending college next fall like they both had hoped. Neither know what they’ll do for the rest of Kristen’s life, as they’ve both lost so much.
If you’re overweight, this very minute, you have an increased chance to end up like Kristen.
A way to drastically increase the likelihood that you won’t end up that way is through adopting a healthy lifestyle and getting to your recommended weight. For the sake of yourself and the loved-ones around you, I hope you’ll make those changes toward a healthier life.
Calle, E.E., et al. Overweight, obesity and mortality from cancer in a prospectively studied cohort of US adults. The New England Journal of Medicine. Vol 348 (April 24) Pgs 1625-1638. 2003.
American Heart Association: www.heart.org
Strazzullo,P, et al. Excess body weight and incidence of stroke: meta-analysis of prospective studies with 2 million participants. Stroke. 2010 May;41(5):e418-26.