People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop certain diseases and health problems. These include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Breathing difficulty
- Skin conditions
- Menstrual abnormalities
- Joint problems
- High cholesterol
- Coronary artery disease
Approximately two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in the United States are considered overweight or obese. The rise in obesity coincides with changes in lifestyle. Television, computers and video games have replaced more physically active work and play. In addition, calorie-packed convenience foods often take the place of homegrown, home-cooked healthy meals.
WellStar offers a variety of treatments, programs and procedures to help overweight and obese Georgians lose weight, keep it off and live well.
Factors that may increase your risk of being overweight or obese include:
- Family history of obesity, which involves both genetics and environmental factors. Genetics play a role in the amount of body fat you store and where you store it and in how efficiently your body converts food into energy and burns calories during exercise. In addition, the environment, including the eating and exercise habits of the family in which you grow up, plays a role.
- Socioeconomic status affects weight in ways you may not consider. Factors like having limited or no access to a safe place to exercise or the inability to afford healthier food can increase the likelihood of obesity.
- While people can be obese at any age, the decrease in metabolism and a less-active lifestyle in older adults can lead to weight gain as you age.
- Quitting smoking often leads to weight gain.
- Risk factors for childhood obesity include maternal gestational diabetes during pregnancy, low birth weight and lack of breastfeeding.
Even with one or more of these risk factors, you are not automatically destined to become obese. You can counteract most risk factors through diet, physical activity and behavior changes.