The Medical Monthly: Obesity

By Garrett Garcia

Publishers note: I realize that this article may be a little longer than our average ones, though I believe that there is no better time than now to improve our healthy eating habits (and your probably doing nothing anyway). If you or someone you know struggles with obesity or weight problems than this is to help and inform you/them. For questions you can email the Medical Monthly Author at

Obesity (a complex disorder involving excessive quantities of fat) is an epidemic in the United States especially. If you think about the times before the ’80s, most people back then were thin. Nowadays you can not go anywhere in public without noticing that many people are at the very least, overweight. There are several different ways we can attempt to change our eating and exercise habits. Like most things, willpower is a very large and impacting factor in this problem. Before we begin to solve the problem of Obesity, we need to understand what causes it and what effects it can have on the human body.

Being obese greatly effects your heart and circulatory system. If you are obese, your heart has to work extra hard. This is because it has to push and pump blood past a whole lot of fat to make it around the whole circulatory system. When the heart has to work so hard to pump blood, it becomes weak and enlarged. This condition is simply called an Enlarged Heart. This weakened version of the heart puts the person into a higher chance of having a cardiac arrest.

The most common heart problem that affects the obese (and many other people) is high blood pressure. High blood pressure (also known as Hypertension) is a disease in which blood flows through arteries at very high pressure. This can cause problems such as poor vision, cardiac arrest, and kidney failure. Type 2 Diabetes is another effect of just poor eating in general (although a lot of obese people develop Diabetes). Being heavier also has a bad effect on the spine. Along with the other bones in their body, the spine is carrying way to much weight without getting the nutrients it needs to stay strong.

Cancer is also a very dangerous “side effect” of being obese. Being obese does not mean that you will certainly develop a form of cancer, it just raises your risk of getting cancer. You can have a significant risk of catching 13 different types of cancers. These cancers include Liver, Uterine, and breast cancer. If you contract one of these cancers, you would need to lose at least 50 pounds (depending on the persons starting weight) to just have a chance of beating cancer.

Since we now have a better understanding of this problem, we can start to solve it. Going to the gym or exercising will not only help you with laziness but will help you lose weight. The more overweight you are, the easier it is to lose weight. A slightly overweight person can healthily lose up to 2 pounds a week. The more overweight you are, the easier the body will dispose and burn all of the extra weight. Therefore, as you get lighter, it will slowly become harder to lose weight. It can be hard to exercise continuously. You need to decide yourself and realize that you are going to change your health and be different. Any form of physical activity will do good for anyone struggling with Obesity. However, exercising is not the only way to lose weight.

Diet plays a very large part in your health and in the development of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Never think of your diet, just as a temporary diet to lose a couple of pounds. Find a healthy and realistically sustainable diet. Instead of just following this diet for a couple of weeks, make it a lifestyle change. Exercise does help the issue greatly when paired with healthy food. Your progression in losing weight will be hindered if you exercise and eat only processed food. Most obese people eat processed food, and they also overeat processed food. The most important term I’ve learned when it comes to diet is “moderation.” The definition of “moderation” is the avoidance of excess or extremes of anything. In this case, the extreme is the excessive amounts of food consumed daily by the individual. Although it is not realistic and is very unhealthy, you can actually eat all of your favorite unhealthy foods and still lose weight. The trick is moderation; too much of anything is a bad thing. Just a little bit every once in a while is ok. This philosophy obviously does not work with everything, such as drugs, but it works great for a diet.

A diet-related surgery is called a “tummy tuck.” This makes the patient’s stomach size considerably smaller, making the person have to eat much smaller portion sizes than they were used to. This surgery essentially forces moderation down on the patient constricting the quantity of food they can consume. Overall, do your best to eat healthily and live by moderation. Never succumb to peer pressure. Use your willpower to do (and eat) what you know is right.

Therapy will also help with Obesity. This is because Obesity not only a dangerous physical health issue but also a dangerous mental one (because of its physical effects).

From Cancer to Hypertension and Cardiac Arrest, nothing good ever comes from Obesity. If you do not believe me, think, “Do I really want an enlarged heart or a weak immune system?” My point is, nobody honestly would want to be obese. So, we should share knowledge to others about the dangers and the ways to stop this disorder. If you know anybody who is struggling with Obesity, do your best to help and support them. Of course, there are always those who want to change and will do anything to change, and there are those who are stubborn and refuse to change. Those who refuse to change will inevitably die of most likely either a heart/blood issue or cancer. However, we can teach better eating and exercising habits for our children. Another thing we can do to help our children is by raising them on a healthy, moderated diet. Do your best to stay as active as possible. Most importantly, never forget about moderation; it can save your life!