More than 2.1 billion people, or close to 30 percent of the global population, are overweight or obese, and obesity is responsible for about five percent of all deaths each year, worldwide. In the US, nearly one in five deaths is now associated with obesity. That obesity factors into your mortality risk isn't so surprising when you consider just how many chronic and serious disease it's associated with.
In the US, just eight obesity-related diseases account for 75 percent of all healthcare costs! Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), dementia, and cancer are among them, but there are many others as well. When you consider that two hallmarks of obesity are insulin/leptin resistance and chronic inflammation, you can begin to recognize that excess weight is fertile ground for a wide array of other ailments—many of which can cut your life significantly short.
When you’re insulin resistant, your cells have become seriously impaired in their ability to respond to the insulin your body makes. At the heart of this problem is a diet too high in sugar (especially processed fructose). While you can be insulin resistant and lean, obesity places far greater stress on your cells, which makes insulin resistance more probable. Insulin resistance is at the core of nearly every chronic degenerative disease and is typically what needs to be addressed first to turn around any disease.
Research shows that chronic overeating places stress on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)—the membranous network found inside the mitochondria of your cells. And when the ER receives more nutrients than it can process, it signals the cell to dampen the sensitivity of the insulin receptors on the surface of the cell. Thus continuously eating more than your body really needs promotes insulin resistance by the mere fact that your cells are stressed by the work placed on them by the excess nutrients. Once your insulin resistance worsens, the concentration of glucose in your blood begins to rise, and elevated glucose contributes to the development of diabetes.
For decades, smoking was one of the leading causes of cancer, but that's about to change. Obesity will likely claim the lead spot as the principal cause of 10 different types of cancer within the next decade, according to cancer specialists who discussed the trend at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago. “Spiraling rates of obesity meant that cancer – once seen as a disease of old age – was now increasingly being diagnosed up to two decades earlier than in the past. Their figures suggest one in five cancer deaths in Britain is caused by excess weight," The Telegraph reports.
The links between obesity and cancer are quite clear, and excess weight can increase your risk of cancer rather significantly. For example, obese women increase their risk of womb cancer by 600 percent. Risks for breast, prostate, colon, and all the other gynecological cancers is also elevated, primarily due to the hormone imbalances associated with obesity, which tend to fuel tumor growth. Researchers have also found a correlation between obesity and increased risk for cancer relapse. Overweight survivors of prostate cancer treatment were found to have a three percent higher rate of relapse compared to their slimmer counterparts. They also had seven percent higher odds of the cancer spreading.
If you are struggling with weight issues and are concerned about the further ramifications that are outlined in this article, please contact our office so that we can schedule you a complimentary consultation and help increase your chances for a healthy future.