The Health Effects of Being Overweight

Is being overweight ruining your life? Did you know that South Africa is the fattest nation in Sub-Saharan Africa? According to the latest statistics conducted by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Statistics South Africa, and the Department of Health, the South African obesity rate has tripled over the past decade. A serious issue of 21st-century lifestyle living, the obesity rate is at its worst in human history, especially in South Africa. Not only have statistics revealed that 82% of South African women over the age of 45 overweight, but 40% of all South African men over the age of 35 are also overweight. And if that’s not enough – South African young children, tweens and teens are not very far behind.

Where are South Africans going wrong?

Being overweight or obese is now listed as a chronic disease caused by a combination of environmental, genetic and personal factors. But if you want the honest, brutal truth, high-carbohydrate diets are the real problem. We’ve entered the fast-food generation, where convenience and temptation have never been greater. Today’s typical diet is laced with sugar, MSG, artificial colours and flavours, chemical fillers, GMO’s, preservatives, additives, trans-fats, and limited amounts of fibre, vitamins and minerals. There you have it – South Africa has been hypnotized by the processed food epidemic. And to make matters worse, junk foods are cheaper than healthy foods.

It’s not healthy being overweight, and although for some it is unavoidable, for others, it is optional. When you‘re overweight, you carry a higher-than-average risk of 50 different serious health issues. In fact, excess fat does much more than increase your weight, it compromises your life. A Harvard study that combined data from over 50,000 men and over 120,000 women revealed some sobering statistics about the health effects of being overweight. Below, we’ve listed only a few:

• Asthma
• Body image issues
• Clogged up arteries
• Dementia, including Alzheimer’s
• Eating disorders
• Enlarged fatty liver
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure (hypertension)
• High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
• Hyperlipidemia (high triglycerides and poor cholesterol levels)
• Kidney disease
• Lethargy
• Mental health disorders
• Metabolic syndrome
• Neuropathy
• Obstructive sleep apnea
• Osteoarthritis (joint pain)
• Pulmonary embolism
• Stroke
• Type-2 diabetes
• Pancreatitis
• Poor blood circulation
• Blood clots
• Back pain
• Vertebral disc disease
• Infertility
• Erectile dysfunction
• Vitamin D deficiency

While it’s normal to have belly fat (visceral fat) to provide cushioning around your organs, real serious problems arise when you have too much visceral fat. Visceral fat is the worst and most dangerous type of body fat. As it slowly creeps in between your organs, the fat releases certain proteins that trigger many of the 21st-century diseases listed above. But that’s not all; this fat increases your risk of developing certain forms of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer, gallbladder cancer and prostate cancer. While the cocktail of deadly diseases above is serious issues, the good news is that losing weight can reduce your risk of developing some of these diseases – and Herbex Health can help you do it.