People are often labeled as obese when their body mass index exceeds 30. The body mass index, or BMI, is a standardized chart that medical professionals and athletes use to gauge basic fitness. While there are some exceptions, the BMI can help you and others know when they are in a healthy weight range and when their weight is a potential health hazard.

BMI is used to measure a person’s body fat percentage roughly. For example, most people in the BMI range of 25 to 29.9 are overweight. However, when you break through BMI 30, that’s when you get into obesity territory.

Obesity, unfortunately, comes with many health challenges. For example, the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other conditions increases significantly. In addition, we recently saw that obese people were much more at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic because of suppressed immune systems and other complications.

One of the most troubling aspects of obesity is that it’s becoming more common. There are now more obese people in the United States than ever, and medical professionals worry about people’s future health if the trends aren’t reversed. Here’s what you need to know about obesity and why it’s such a health risk.

Obesity Affects Quality of Life

Obese people are carrying around much more weight than they should. It’s typically too much for their body, and the weight causes undue strain on muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. That’s why it’s so common to see obese people unable to move freely. In extreme cases, obese people are bound to wheelchairs or can’t get out of bed.

Obese people generally have poor physical fitness. Simple tasks like walking or moving upstairs are very difficult. Buying clothes is more difficult, and so is maintaining proper hygiene. Obese people frequently develop sores in places they can’t clean properly, becoming infections that pose real threats to personal health.

Obesity Is Often Linked to Mental Health

It’s easy for people who don’t struggle with food to tell an obese person to stop eating. Unfortunately, the problem is not so simple. Obesity happens when people overeat for a very prolonged period, true, but there are typically underlying issues that make people turn to food to self-soothe.

Many obese people deal with trauma related to childhood, work, family situations, and other life experiences that drive them to binge. Treating obesity is usually much more involved than putting someone on a diet. It requires a multi-pronged approach that addresses the reasons for overeating and how to develop a healthy relationship with food.

Losing Weight Reverses Many of the Health Challenges Tied to Obesity

Whether it’s bone issues, chronic pain, sores, or diabetes, many of the health conditions associated with obesity disappear once a person loses a certain amount of weight or changes their lifestyle.

For example, an obese person who starts going to the gym will begin to see their physical health improve in more ways than just on the scale. They’ll feel they have more energy, get better sleep, and breathe easier. In addition, if they’re taking insulin because their pancreas won’t produce enough, they can eventually stop administering insulin injections and come off prescription medicines they previously needed to stay healthy.

When obese people lose weight, their pulse drops, their see reductions in blood pressure levels, and more.

Obesity Is on the Rise

One of the greatest concerns around obesity is that it’s becoming more common. Obesity rates have been on the rise for decades, and now an alarming percentage of U.S. adults and children are obese.

With more obese people, hospitals are treating more obese-related conditions and seeing patients who take longer to recover from everything from surgery to a sprained ankle because they can’t walk due to their weight.

Obesity complicates even small medical conditions and presents increased challenges to providers. For example, as more people become obese, it’s expected we’ll see more people with sleep-related problems, injuries, and diabetes.

Peptides & Obesity

Peptides are short chains of amino acids that trigger specific biological responses. There are many different peptides, and we’re still learning about their potential in many areas.

One peptide, NAD+, has been known for over 100 years. It’s one of the essential peptides because it protects the cells and facilitates cell function. Unfortunately, NAD+ declines as people age or as a result of a high-fat diet. Studies in animal models show that NAD+ boosters can alleviate diet-associated weight gain. It increases their capacity for exercise, even among older mice. NAD+ reversed diabetes symptoms in female mice as well.

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