Obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat (Mayo Clinic staff par 1). United States citizens are known to have excessive amounts of body fat; 20% can be labeled as obese (Obesity Statistics & More par. 2). Heart disease, sleep apnea, infertility in woman, and type 2 diabetes are some effects of obesity on the body.
Heart disease is is a huge risk factor of obesity. A lifetime spent being obese could be a predictor for coronary artery calcification, a major risk factor for heart disease, according to a new study (Woodruff par 1). Researchers from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found that the rate of coronary artery calcification is higher among people who have been obese for more than 20 years of their lives, compared with those who had never become obese (Woodruff par 2). The researchers conducted scans to see how much coronary artery calcification the participants had during follow-up tests 15, 20 and 25 years after the beginning of the study (Woodruff par 4).
The researchers also continued taking BMI and waist circumference of the participants throughout the 25-year study time span to see who would go on to become obese, and for how long (Woodruff par 4). By the end of the study, researchers found that 40.4 percent of the study participants had become obese, and 41 percent of them had become abdominally obese (Woodruff par 5). On average, people were obese for 13.3 years, and abdominally obese for 12.2 years. And 27.5 percent of all the study participants had developed coronary artery calcification (Woodruff par 5).
Sleep apnea is another major effect of obesity. An estimated 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, which is often associated with people who are overweight (Obesity & Sleep par 7). Having a good exercise routine and diet can prevent people from being obese and having complications such as sleep apnea. The only problem is once a person becomes obese, he/she may not be as motivated to exercise or diet (Obesity & Sleep par 8).
Not only does obesity contribute to sleep problems such as sleep apnea, but sleep problems can also contribute to obesity. A 1999 study by scientists at the University of Chicago found that building up a sleep debt over a matter of days can impair metabolism and disrupt hormone levels (Obesity & Sleep par 8). Metabolism effects a person’s weight, so it is very important that it does not get messed up. A follow-up study tested healthy men and women with an average body mass index; half were normal sleepers, the other half averaged 6 1/2 hours or less. Glucose tolerance tests showed that the short sleepers were experiencing hormonal changes that could affect their future body weight and impair their long-term health (Obesity & Sleep par 9). Body weight is an important factor in determining whether a person is obese or not, so getting the recommended amount of sleep is one way to prevent that from happening.
Sometimes the best way to treat obesity can be to treat an underlying...