ERSOY: Excess weight can negatively affect your health

Bozz District

I think most people would like to live a healthy and happy life for as long a time as possible. And we all instinctively know what we need to do to reach that goal. However, outside temptations such as easy to access high calorie and low nutrient foods, as well […]

I think most people would like to live a healthy and happy life for as long a time as possible. And we all instinctively know what we need to do to reach that goal.

However, outside temptations such as easy to access high calorie and low nutrient foods, as well as lifestyle difficulties such as our social life, make it harder to choose healthy food options and to do regular activity for a majority of people. We know how important it is that we keep our body and mind strong so that whatever health consequences we are in, we still can survive and thrive. Now imagine that we are putting additional stresses on our body, such as we do when carrying excess body fat. Most likely we then will not win the battle.

I get asked a lot how being overweight or obese can affect our health and immunity. Most of us know that when we are overweight we are more likely to get chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, but we don’t pay attention to other risk factors including many types of cancer, hypertension, insulin resistance, sleep apnea, mental illnesses and some types of viruses.

According to the US Center of Diseases Control (CDC) “Obesity increases the risk for severe COVID-19–associated illness.” A study found that 78% of people hospitalized for COVID were overweight and obese. The numbers are huge, and they are scary.

When you have a metabolically healthy body most likely you are insulin sensitive, which means that your immune system is much more likely to be strong enough to fight any outside attacks such as bacteria or viruses.

But being overweight or obese, like other states of malnutrition, can cause chronic inflammations and this can suppress and impair your immune system too. And carrying excess body fat equals excess energy which can in fact even stimulate the immune system to fight infections that do not exist, a state called subclinical inflammation.

Although the real cause of obesity and how it suppresses our immunity is not exactly understood, in the same way that not all dietary fats are equal also not all fat cells in the body are created equal. The white adipose (fat) tissue that is found in people who are obese has been found to have many functions including the regulation of inflammatory processes. When we have excess white adipose tissue chronic inflammation makes it harder for the body to fight off infections.

Your BMI (body mass index) is calculated by taking your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and one of 30 and above is considered obese. You can find easy BMI calculators online if you would like to calculate yours now. Being physically active and making healthier food choices will have an enormous effect on your BMI and could lead to a longer and better quality life.

So these are more great reasons to lose weight and improve your health. One quick tip, you can practice TRE (time retracted eating, such as having your dinner one to two hours earlier than normal), get at least 20 minutes of walking each day, don’t consume added sugar, and try to not snack in-between your main meals. If you follow these tips you are already off to a great start!

References:

• https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes.html

• https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7010e4.htm

• https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/obesity-and-covid-19.html

• https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18240540/

• https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22429824/

• https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/08/covid-cdc-study-finds-roughly-78percent-of-people-hospitalized-were-overweight-or-obese.html

• https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210309/cdc-data-strengthens-link-of-obesity-severe-covid

• https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html

• https://www.obesityaction.org/community/article-library/obesity-and-the-immune-system/

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Ayda Ersoy, Nutritionist (Dip.C.N., Dip.S.N.), Master Trainer (CPT ACE, NCSF, CanfitPro), Registered Yoga Teacher, Founder, Health Angel Nutrition, Fitness and Wellness, Founder, SMS (Stability, Mobility Strength) Intuitive Training System.

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