Roughly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Obesity is a growing health concern because carrying extra weight often leads to chronic conditions that can lower your quality of life.
Being obese puts extra strain on your bones, muscles, and tissues, making your body work harder to carry you through life. Most people know that being overweight can harm your health, but losing weight — even if you have the best intentions — isn’t easy.
The good news is that losing just a few pounds can make a big difference for your health. Losing 5-10% of your body weight can significantly lower your risk of certain health conditions, from high blood pressure to heart disease. If you weigh 200 pounds, 10 pounds is 5% of your body weight.
If you want to lose weight and reduce your risk of chronic health conditions but you don’t know where to start, that’s where James Y. Lee, DO and our team at Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care in Woodstock, Georgia, come in. Dr. Lee is a weight management expert, specializing in medical weight loss and helping patients improve their overall wellness.
Keep reading to find out how losing weight can reduce your risk of developing three common chronic health conditions, and then book your weight management consultation with Dr. Lee online or by phone.
1. High blood pressure
There’s a certain amount of pressure inside your arteries, caused by blood flowing through your body. The pressure pushes the walls of the arteries as blood is delivered to your muscles, tissues, and organs. If you have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, it means the pressure inside your arteries is higher than normal.
Carrying extra weight means you need more blood to supply nutrients to your body, and your heart has to work harder to pump it. More blood pumping increases the pressure on your artery walls. Losing weight reduces the amount of blood your body needs to function, and it also decreases your resting heart rate, both of which can contribute to lower blood pressure.
2. Type 2 diabetes
Nearly 30 million Americans are living with type 2 diabetes, a common metabolic condition. Having diabetes means that your body can’t convert sugar from the food you eat into energy for your body. As a result, high blood sugar is common in people with diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar can increase your risk of developing diabetic nerve damage, heart disease, and other complications.
Obesity makes it harder for your body to process sugar from food, and it’s a leading risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Other risk factors include family history and being over the age of 45. But losing weight can reduce your risk for diabetes, even if you have other risk factors.
3. Heart disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for Americans. Also called cardiovascular disease, heart disease is a group of conditions that affect heart health. Narrowing or blocked blood vessels and to certain types of irregular heartbeat are characteristic of heart disease. If you have heart disease, you may be at risk for heart attack or stroke.
Being overweight or obese puts you at an increased risk of developing heart disease. Extra weight puts extra strain on your heart because the body must pump more blood to deliver more nutrients to the muscles, organs, and tissues. Losing weight helps take the strain off your heart and reduces your risk of heart disease.
Are you ready to start your weight loss journey with Dr. Lee? Losing just a few pounds can make a big difference for your health. Book a weight management consultation online or by phone today.