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The Silent Threat: How Obesity Quietly Affects Your Heart?

Written By- Bisman Chugh | Reviewed By- Nutrition Expert
Jun 28, 2024
Educational Blogs

Let’s just clarify something extremely important. 

Anyone who is overweight or obese and feels it's okay, 

IT IS NOT!

Throughout a person's life, gaining weight significantly raises the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), leading to higher chances of illness, disability, and even death, affecting both men and women equally.

Read further to see how being obese is taking you closer to critical health issues!

Obesity is a serious yet neglected complex disease that can be understood as excessive fat deposits in your body that can impact your overall health. Obesity can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, increase the risk of cancer and also affect bone health. It happens when there's too much fat in the body, which can harm our health. Nowadays, more people are obese than underweight across the world, even in regions where underweight used to be a bigger issue. While obesity used to be seen mostly in wealthier countries, it's now a big problem in some middle-income countries as well.

What are the Symptoms and Causes of Obesity?

When we talk about symptoms, you can clearly tell if you are obese by your body structure, weight and ability to be physically active. To put it clearly- 

  • If your BMI is greater than or equal to 25, you may be overweight
  • If your BMI is greater than or equal to 30, you may be obese

In simple terms, if your diet and physical activity are not balanced or coordinated, you might get obese. 

Obesity is often caused by a mix of environmental, social, and genetic factors. For some people, specific causes like medications, diseases, or genetic conditions can be the major reasons for being obese. Our surroundings also play a big role by limiting access to affordable healthy food and fun yet safe spaces for physical activity. Additionally, the lack of early realisation about obesity and neglecting professional help makes it harder to prevent obesity from developing and then worsening.

Connection Between Obesity and Being Overweight

Most people think that being overweight means being obese. While these two are closely connected but are different. 

The terms "overweight" and "obese" are often used as if they mean the same thing, but they are slightly different yet connected. Being overweight means having more body weight than what's considered healthy. In contrast, obesity is a chronic condition where there's a significant amount of excess body fat, which poses a higher risk to your health.

Both overweight and obesity are very common and share many of the same health risks. People with either condition are more likely to face serious health issues, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and chronic pain. Although the severity of these conditions differs, the impact on health can be quite similar.

So, what causes obesity or negative weight gain that you don’t realise in your daily lives? There are many factors, including:

  • Eating large portion sizes - Going for 1 large meal a day instead of breaking down into smaller meals.
  • Certain medical conditions and medications- Those on steroids, immunosuppressants etc.
  • Genetics: If one of your parents is genetically obese, you might inherit the same tendency.
  • Stress and lack of sleep: Long-term stress and sleep deprivation can affect your metabolism, leading to weight gain.
  • Habit of eating junk food: Regularly eating fast food because it's a quick hunger fix can contribute to weight gain.
  • Not reading how food is labeled: Ignoring nutritional labels can result in unknowingly consuming high-calorie foods.
  • High fat and sugar content in everyday foods: Consuming snacks with hidden high sugar and fat content can add extra pounds over time.
  • High calorie content in food and drinks: Drinking sugary sodas and foods every day can significantly increase your daily calorie intake, thus obesity.

The Connection between Obesity and Heart Disease

Let us tell you that today most of the heart issues are caused because of obesity. Doctors these days are warning people who are overweight and obese because of the regular cases of heart issues. Let this be your eye opener and beginning of a better and healthier lifestyle. 

Obesity plays a significant role in causing heart disease. If you are obese but haven't been diagnosed with heart disease, now is the time to take action. By managing your weight, you can improve your overall health and lower your risk of heart disease.

HOW? Here’s your answer-

Extensive studies show a strong link between obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Conditions like heart failure, heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes are much more common in people with obesity. As BMI (Body Mass Index) increases, so does the risk of developing CVD for both men and women.

A large health survey of 2,00,000 people, conducted from 2005 to 2012, compared 100,000 individuals with obesity to 1,00,000 with normal weight. The results were clear: 51% of adults with obesity had high blood pressure, 8% had heart disease, 3.5% had heart failure, 3% had strokes, and 21% had heart attacks. 

Furthermore, the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other heart problems is 2.5 times higher for women and nearly 3 times higher for men with a BMI over 40 kg/m compared to those with a normal weight. Even those who are simply overweight (BMI over 25 kg/m) have a higher risk of developing CVD earlier in life, resulting in more years living with heart-related health issues.

(Source- Rethink Obesity)

Pic Credits- Rethink Obesity

 51% of adults with obesity had high blood pressure, 8% had heart disease, 3.5% had heart failure, 3% had strokes, and 21% had heart attacks. 

What Are The Hidden Ingredients We’re Putting in Our Daily Food That Are Making Us Obese?

The food industry has long added sugars and low-quality refined oils to make processed foods taste better, but this practice has led to serious health issues, including a higher risk of obesity. We all know that a balanced nutrition is very important for us to control our weight and our overall health where clean nutrition and adequate exercise, control over our stress does play a crucial role. 

But did you know there are many hidden ingredients in your daily food that might be impacting your daily struggle towards better health?

Let us help you understand this a bit better.

Refined Sugar

Refined sugar is found in a wide variety of processed foods. The refined sugar unknowingly gets added into your diet through sauces, dressings, cereals, and even bread. Look out for terms like high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and dextrose on labels. These sugars can significantly increase your calorie intake without you even realizing it. The artificial sweeteners can fool you to crave more sugar that makes weight management a huge struggle. Excessive intake of high fructose corn syrup present in processed foods is linked to negative health outcomes like obesity that can lead to heart diseases.

To sweeten your dishes, you can instead use-

Refined Oils

Refined oils, commonly found in fried and processed foods, are high in unhealthy fats. These fats can lead to weight gain, inflammation, and an increased risk of heart disease. 

Here is a fact check, the vegetable oil goes through a refining process that involves heating the oil to high temperatures which leads to their degradation. This process forms toxic substances like trans fats, malondialdehyde and free radicals which are harmful for your body. 

They often appear on ingredient lists as partially hydrogenated oils. 

When cooking at home, you can start using wood pressed oils to fight unhealthy fats consumption. Wood-pressed oil is better than refined oils as it retains more nutrients and natural flavors since it's made using a traditional, chemical-free method. This makes wood-pressed oil a healthier and more flavorful choice for cooking.

High quality cooking agents you can choose are-

Refined salt

Excess salt in your diet can cause your body to retain water and increase your appetite, which can contribute to weight gain. Processed and canned foods often have high levels of sodium, making it easy to consume more than the recommended amount without noticing. Salt doesn’t always enter your diet getting noticed. Ingredients like emulsifiers, chemical preservatives, and dough conditioners usually have high sodium content. 

Next time when you read the label, look for monosodium glutamate, sodium saccharin, sodium nitrate, and sodium benzoate. 

Other Harmful Ingredients

Other than high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, high salt, and low quality refined oils, many other harmful ingredients tend to enter our daily diet without us knowing. This happens because we as consumers are too lazy to read the labels before buying the products. Today, being a smart consumer is the key to better health and lifestyle. 

Read the Ingredient Labels

Many people are unaware of the chemicals and sugars packed into processed foods. However, this information is not hidden, it's available on the ingredient label. Unfortunately, most people don't read these labels because they don't suspect harmful additives. If you consume processed foods, make it a habit to read and understand the ingredients before purchasing. If you come across an unfamiliar ingredient, do a quick search on your phone to determine if it is linked to weight gain or other health issues.

Disclaimer: Please keep your healthcare provider in the loop before introducing any new food item or beauty product into your lifestyle, especially if you have a medical health condition or are on medications. In case you are allergic to certain foods, please avoid them.

You can reach out to us for expert assistance at +917059700700 

Or write to us at [email protected] 

Do you have any questions? Feel free to drop them in the comment box below. 

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