Obesity: A Silent GI Threat
We experience potentially harmful and dangerous events every day without even thinking about it. While we know car accidents can happen, we’re not worried about driving to work. We’ve heard stories of friends who have gotten food poisoning, but that doesn’t keep us from eating or trying a new restaurant. We know knives can hurt people, yet we still keep them in our kitchens. We’ve watched movies where mom and dad slip and fall on their child’s toy car collection, but we willingly add to children's toy collections.
But what if we told you that your weight was something harmful and potentially life-threatening? Would that change the way you eat, exercise, and alter your determination to lose weight? After reviewing over 1,000 research studies, the Center for Disease Control discovered that obesity is the second leading cause of preventable cancer death, coming in behind tobacco use. You might be unhappy with your weight, but have you ever considered how harmful being obese or overweight really is to your overall health.
The Link Between Cancer And Weight
Studies show that the risk of 13 different kinds of cancer are greatly increased depending on weight. In fact, the risk is proportionate to the amount of excess weight a person carries. The higher your body mass index (BMI), the greater the chance you will develop one of these cancers. This includes cancer of the esophagus, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney, thyroid, liver, stomach, colon and rectum, uterus, ovary, and breast for women who are postmenopausal. Due to the rise of obesity in the younger generations, this research shows that young men and women are strengthening their risk for cancer simply because they are overweight. The C.D.C. revealed in JAMA that almost half of all cancer diagnosis in adults under the age of 65 were connected to overweight and obesity. The sad part is, cancer as a product of weight is completely preventable.
Details Behind The Terms
Sometimes “obese” and “overweight” are used interchangeably, but they actually identify different things. They are, however, both terms that are used to describe someone is over the recommended weight for their given height. This is calculated by your BMI (body mass index), the ratio between height and weight. Someone who is overweight has a BMI of 25-29.9. Someone is obese if they have a BMI of 30 or more. If you are curious about your own BMI, use an online BMI calculator to find out whether or not you need to be concerned about the risks associated with your weight. While cancer may seem like the biggest risk, there are many other health issues that are associated with overweight and obesity. If you are overweight, you also have a higher chance of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and many GI issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and GERD. There are many factors that play into our weight such as genetics and metabolism, but lifestyle is one of the most important.
You’re In Control
You are in control of your body and your health. If you are overweight or obese, it’s time for you to take action so that you can lower the risk of these potentially life-threatening diseases. If you currently have a healthy weight, take charge to maintain it. How? Diet and exercise. It may sound cliche, but it may very well save your life. Diet doesn’t have to be extreme. Portion control goes a long way. As well as eating lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Limit your sugar intake and foods that are high in fat, and drink plenty of water. Exercise can consist of a 30 minute walk every day, or a cardio video you find online if you prefer the comfort of your living room. While making these lifestyle changes appear easy on paper, we know how difficult it really is. We invite you to check out Ideal Protein at GI Associates. Ideal Protein gives you accountability and a plan that works. We have an informational meeting the first Tuesday of every month and would love to see you there!
If you’d like more information about the Ideal Protein program, check out our website and clear your calendar for the next meeting. At GI Associates, we are committed to helping you reach your goals and live a healthy life free from the risk of GI issues and GI cancer that are associated with weight. Schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today so we can begin the journey to a healthier you.