by Sageera EIC
I guess if overweight would not be such a huge risk factor in getting the worst diseases out there, we would all just go on eating. Maybe the plastic surgeons had more work, but over time we would just all get fatter and fatter, and we would get used to a new, rounder, beauty ideal. If everybody around us gains weight, most people wouldn’t care and join in.
What’s so dangerous about being overweight? Belly fat!
However, the medical research shows that the culprit for so many diseases is the body fat, more specifically the belly fat. We need to measure this abdominal fat to figure out where we are on the health scale. The way this is done is by measuring height and weight and calculating the body mass index, or so-called BMI. A low BMI is for slim people, a high BMI for fat people. The genius idea behind BMI is that it puts into relation the body’s weight and height. More about how to calculate BMI later.
How dangerous is overweight?
Let’s look at a woman with her body at the borderline between normal weight and overweight. Her risk to get type-2 diabetes is already 5 times higher than it would be at the lower end of the normal range. That’s right: five times! That’s a lot! Would you drive a car that’s five times as likely to break down? Would you send your child to a school with drop-out rates five times higher drop-out rates? Would you stay married to a guy who is five times as likely to disappear with your girlfriend? What would you pay for a lottery ticket that is 5 times as likely to be a winner?
At an even higher body weight, in the overweight or obese ranges, the risk to get type-2 diabetes is just going through the roof.
And as if that’s not enough: at the borderline between overweight and obese, the risk to get high blood pressure is 4 times higher, and heart disease 3 times higher than at the lower end of the normal range. The complete list of risks for overweight reads like a Halloween shopping basket: dying early, heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, colon cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, cancer of the endometrium, arthritis, gallstones, infertility, asthma, snoring/sleep apnea, or cataracts.