Well, here we are at the Coffee Club for the last time before the New Year begins. Most of us have family plans for Christmas and a few of us have plans for New Years Eve. Uncle Bud has plans for all of us to “have a plan” to work on our health next year. As we have told you before he is the oldest member of the club and by far the healthiest.
This morning Uncle Bud reminds us that excess pounds do more than increase our weight. Extra pounds increase our risk of major health problems. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have strokes, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. The good news is losing weight can help reduce the risk of developing some of these problems. This is why Uncle Bub keeps telling us, “All you need is a plan”. Yes, he is convinced that each of us can reach our goal of losing weight by having and following a plan.
Many of us were not aware that if you carry extra pounds, you face a higher than average risk of many different health problems. Some of these health conditions include the nation’s leading causes of death—heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers—as well as less common ailments such as gout and gallstones. Perhaps even more surprising is the strong link between excess weight and depression, because this common mood disorder can have a profound, negative impact on your daily life.
A Harvard study that combined data from more than 50,000 men (participants in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study) and more than 120,000 women (from the Nurses’ Health Study) revealed some sobering statistics about weight and health.
The volunteers provided their height and weight, as well as details on their diets, health habits, and medical histories. Researchers tracked the volunteers over more than 10 years. They noted the occurrence of illnesses and compared those developments with each subject’s body mass index (BMI)—an estimate of an individual’s relative body fat calculated from his or her height and weight).
Obesity increased the risk of diabetes 20 times and substantially boosted the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and gallstones. Among people who were overweight or obese, there was a direct relationship between BMI and risk: the higher the BMI, the higher the likelihood of disease.
Weight and depression
Do people gain weight because they’re depressed, or do they become depressed because they’re overweight? A review of 15 studies found evidence that both scenarios are likely true. The study, published in 2010 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that obese people have a 55% higher risk of developing depression over time compared with people of normal weight. Here are some reasons why obesity may increase risk of depression:
- Both conditions appear to stem (at least in part) from alterations in brain chemistry and function in response to stress.
- Psychological factors are also plausible. In our culture, thin equals beautiful, and being overweight can lower self-esteem, a known trigger for depression.
- Odd eating patterns and eating disorders, as well as the physical discomfort of being obese, are known to foster depression.
- The study also found that depressed people have a 58% higher risk of becoming obese. Here are some reasons why depression may lead to obesity:
- Elevated levels of the stress hormone cortical (common in people with depression) may alter substances in fat cells that make fat accumulation, especially in the belly, more likely, according to one theory.
- People who feel depressed often feel too blue to eat properly and exercise regularly, making them more prone to gain weight.
- Some medications used to treat depression cause weight gain.
This was a good bit of information for most of us to take in for one morning. Plus we needed to go to work. However, we did agree with Uncle Bud that we need to get a plan to get rid of the extra pounds so many of us are carrying around.
Uncle Bud reminds us that just around the corner is a group of professional people who would love to help us get our plan together and to encourage us to lose the pounds we need to lose in order to enjoy better health.
If you are ready to take control of your health by losing those extra pounds check out Weigh to Wellness. You will love the results you achieve by following the plan they help you chose.
Phone – 205-994-2393