CHAPTER 3: What can obesity do to you?

All information below has been acquired from the book “Polar Bears and humming birds: A medical guide to weight-loss” by medical obesity specialist Dr H. Rensburg.

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“Obesity is a chronic disease that leads to an over-production of fat. Nothing more, nothing less” “Obesity is a serious disease affecting all the systems and organs in your body- it is not just a cosmetic problem” (Rensburg 2005). It is known as the ‘killer disease’ and we will discover just how deadly it can be. The good news is it is curable and avoidable, the power is in your hands. 

No such thing as only “a little bit fat”

To once-and-for-all bust the myth of being only “a little bit fat”, can you guess how many more meters of blood vessels are grown to feed 1kg of extra fat in the body?

1kg = 3km in extra blood vessels!!!!! This means a person with 20kg excess fat weight forces their heart to pump through 60km of extra blood vessels day and night. 

Here is an interesting scenario. Increasing your weight from 70kg to 77kg (with excess fat) seems like a small, harmless 10% increase. But let’s assume you started with a 10% body fat at 70kg, the extra 7kg has doubled the amount of fat you carry from 7kg to 14kg and you have increased your total body fat by a massive 90%. If you consider, as well, that with age there are lean tissue losses the percentage of fat increase is even higher. Therefore, even small increases of fat can reflect massive fat percentage increases and it’s these percentage increases, especially around the abdominal area, that can cause a myriad of diseases and health complications. Studies show that an additional 5kg of fat, above healthy fat percentages will shorten your life expectancy by years. A few conditions that lead to premature death, brought on by obesity, are as follows:

  • Heart and cardiovascular compromise
  • Respiratory disease
  • Kidney and gall stones
  • Stoke
  • Diabetes
  • “Soggy brain” syndrome. This leads to poor concentration due to excess fluid retention in the brain of obese individuals. Lack of concentration causes a dangerous working environment in stressful and risky business such as truck driving, operating heavy machinery, mining etc.
  • Cancer

There is a modern term known as “Diabesity” which fondly refers to the conclusion that is you are obese and have a family history of diabetes, you will more than likely suffer from diabetes too- “diabesity”. Generally, it is Type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) that accompanies obesity. This is a much more serious disease than the populace, and even health professionals, realise. It is the number one cause of blindness in the Western world and also the major cause of renal failure, impotence in men over 45 and amputations.

It can thus be concluded that, due to obesity being the cause of a myriad of health problems, any physician or healthcare worker who prescribes treatment for one of the above conditions to an overly-fat individual, without directly addressing the fat issue, is being grossly negligent.

Not just a medical dilemma

Even though we are taught from a young age not to discriminate, it happens daily. Research has shown that thinner people get raises and promotions or even get jobs faster than overweight individuals; although there are laws for equality there have been studies showing that of the 2 people charged with the same crime the obese person is more likely to get sentenced and with a harsher punishment too (Rensburg 2005).

Of course, the discriminatory effects are tantamount to the psychological effects for the obese. Not only do they suffer verbal abuse, isolation and being the butt of mean jokes by society, the obese tend to be very hard on themselves without being able to, or by being ignorant of, getting real help. They abuse and neglect themselves without any real means of changing their situation and then spiral into anxiety and depression. Many marriages suffer as the obese cannot either sexually perform well, are ashamed of their bodies or suffer bad hygiene. Most over-fat sufferers tend to overcompensate for their lack of acceptance by being over-friendly and “jolly”, which can be rather exhausting psychologically. This, of course, further enhances the physiological effects (disease manifestation) listed above, and so we can see that obesity is a vicious circle where all factors feed each other to create a very unhappy life indeed.

Take-home message

  • Even 1kg of excess fat will start compromising your health. The heart has to pump harder with excess fat gain. No such thing as only a little bit fat
  • Obesity opens the doors to many medical diseases including cancers and diabetes
  • Negative psychological and sociological effects are rife amongst the obese
  • Marriage and self-esteem difficulties commonly ensue with obesity

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