Tag Archives: overweight

20 Conditions That Are Linked to Obesity

Obesity occurs when a person’s weight is over 20% higher than the healthy range for their height, or a person who has a body mass index of over 30. People who are obese have excess body fat than puts them at higher risk of developing many health complications such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

20 Conditions That Can be Influenced by Obesity

Of course not all people with these conditions are obese, and not all obese people will go on to contract health problems such as these. Diseases are complex, and often develop from a culmination of different risk factors such as lifestyle or family history. However, people who are obese are at much greater risk of developing these health problems or worsening existing health issues such as these:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Gallstones
  3. Osteoarthritis
  4. Gout
  5. Fatty liver disease
  6. Pregnancy complications
  7. Skin problems
  8. Lymphedema
  9. Atherosclerosis
  10. Metabolic disorders
  11. Cardiovascular disease
  12. Stroke
  13. Kidney disease
  14. Asthma
  15. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  16. Hypertension
  17. High cholesterol
  18. Sleep apnea
  19. Clinical depression
  20. Certain types of cancer

What Can You Do To Lower These Risks?

The best way to lower your risk of developing these health problems is to eat a healthy, balanced diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking or drinking in excess. If you are obese or overweight, try your best to lose enough weight to fall into a healthy range for your height. If you are having problems losing weight on your own, talk to your doctor (or one of ours!) today for help, such as a referral to a dietitian or individualized medical advice. 

Find the Right Exercise for You

Not everyone is a “gym person”, but where are plenty of ways to workout that don’t involve expensive memberships and other people. Take a look through some of our fitness posts:

50 Exercises You Can do Almost Anywhere

Hobbies That Can Double as Exercise

10 Simple Ways to Exercise Around the House

7 Fall Fitness Ideas

5 Strange but Cool Workout Trends

Thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any health-related concerns, our board certified physicians are standing by 24/7/365 to assist you.

Medical Causes of Weight Gain (Part 2)

More often than not, weight gain is caused by non-disease factors such as lifestyle changes, but sometimes it can be a symptom of an underlying medical issue. In Medical Causes of Weight Gain (Part 1) we outlined six underlying medical conditions that can cause unwanted weight gain: depression, Cushing syndrome, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovaries, cirrhosis and acromegaly. Now we’ll take a look at another four illness causes, as well as some non-disease causes of unintentional weight gain.

  1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a painful female condition where the body produces too much androgen which can lead to weight gain, serious pelvic pain, extremely painful periods and in some cases infertility.

  1. Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidney disease cause a build-up of fluid in the limbs and abdomen which presents as rapid weight gain. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can also cause swelling of the ankles, extreme fatigue, problems urinating (such as blood in the urine) and nausea. CKD can be life threatening so it is important to get these symptoms checked out by a professional.

  1. Lupus

Lupus is a serious systemic (effects the entire body) autoimmune disease which has multiple forms and causes a host of unpleasant and dangerous symptoms. Some of the countless symptoms of lupus include fatigue, swelling, joint and body pain, hair loss and unintentional weight loss or weight gain.

  1. Ovarian Cancer

Many cancers cause weight loss, but ovarian cancer is usually the opposite. Along with sudden unwanted weight gain, ovarian cancer may also cause stomach, vaginal, pelvic pain or discomfort. It can also lead to swelling (such as chronic bloating), constipation and problems urinating, often including blood in the urine. If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for a while, you should contact your doctor or gynecologist for an exam.

Other Reasons For Weight Gain

  • Medications – there are many medications that can lead to weight gain as an unwanted side effect. Some of these include: steroids like prednisone, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-seizure medications, antihistamines, beta blockers and diabetes medications, just to name a few.
  • Menopause – menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s menses. It sometimes takes women by surprise, starting earlier than expected and causing a varied array of symptoms. Menopause often leads to weight gain due to a combination of metabolic and hormonal changes.
  • Aging – Your metabolism starts slowing down as you age, leading to a lower basal metabolic rate (BMR). A low BMR makes it more difficult to burn off calories, leading to excess fat.
  • Lifestyle changes – before you hit the panic button after reading about these diseases, remember that most cases of weight gain are caused by alterations in lifestyle such as decreased exercise and changes in diet in combination with an age-related metabolism relaxation. However, if you are experiencing some of the additional symptoms we looked at in Part 1 and Part 2 along with your weight gain, it may be time to talk to your doctor about running some tests (at least for peace of mind).

There you have it! Some of the potential medical causes of weight gain. Thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any questions about some of the conditions or symptoms we’ve outlined or have any other health-related inquiries please don’t hesitate to sign up today for a video consultation with one of our top-tier, board certified DocChat physicians!



Is BMI A True Indicator Of Fitness?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a formula of total body weight in pounds divided by overall height in meters that was created by the National Institutes of Health in 1998. It was established to measure fitness, or more specifically whether a person falls into a ‘healthy weight’ category. For years health professionals and exercisers have been using BMI has the go-to tool to distinguish ‘fat’ from ‘fit’, but there have always been questions surrounding its true effectiveness to deem a person’s health. Recently new studies have brought new doubts to light about the BMI’s effectiveness as a health marker.

BMI Categories

The current BMI indicator values are:

Underweight: Body fat percentage of less than 18.5
Healthy Weight: Body fat percentage of between 18.4 and 24.9
Overweight: Body fat percentage of 25-29.9
Obese: Body fat percentage of over 30
(You can calculate your BMI here.)

Supporting Arguments For BMI

Many medical professionals argue that BMI is an inexpensive, standardized and accessible weight category screening tool. But these professionals likely realize the limitations the BMI calculator carries, and won’t use it as a sole indicator of a person’s health. It was created to be used as a general healthy weight guideline, giving people a good goal category to try to achieve. Falling in the ‘healthy weight’ category may reduce a person’s risks of obesity and weight-related health conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. However, a BMI category does not make or break a person’s overall health.

Why BMI Isn’t a ‘One Size Fits All’ Tool 

The BMI system is flawed because it cannot differentiate between different types of fat or muscle mass. Therefor those who are very muscular or densely built may show as “overweight” or “obese” when they may be in excellent health. Women with certain shapes may show as “unhealthier” than they really are because BMI can’t distinguish between proportion either. For example, a very busty woman with little visceral fat elsewhere may show up in the wrong category. Similarly, some people may be very physically fit but is naturally a little on the heavier side who is wrongfully categorized as well. In these cases, a BMI isn’t the best tool to tell whether these people are ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy”.

New Studies Say “Back To The Drawing Board” 

According medical writer Catharine Paddock, PhD, new studies bring some startling concerns to light such as misclassification and discrimination when it comes to employers and insurance companies unfairly penalizing people for BMI status. One particular study found that cardiometric testing proved that over 50 million Americans who were classified as overweight or obese by their BMI results were actually in perfect health, while 21 million who were categorized as “healthy” by BMI standards were in actuality very unhealthy. Basically a person can be larger than another person but exercise much more, perform better in cardiovascular assessments and lead healthier lifestyles than the smaller person. Unfortunately, many employers and insurance carriers in the United States rely too heavily on the BMI index to decide whether a person gets certain coverage or health benefits. This is clearly not a fair way to dole out benefits.

In bref, the BMI calculator is a great tool to help motivate people to reduce body fat to a healthier range, but it simply cannot be solely relied upon to determine a person’s fitness or overall health. There are too many confounding factors and personal variances for the BMI to be very accurate across the board. Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll be back soon!

Our Most Sedentary Generation

Ever notice there are never as many children outside playing kickball and tag than there were ten years ago? Many playgrounds are ghost towns nowadays compared to the bustling microcosms they once were. Unfortunately, more children lead sedentary lives today than any generation before.

Inactive Children Outnumber The Active

According to a government census study, only 1 in three children are physically active on a daily basis. Children are meant to be active, as their bodies grow faster than those of adults. Children also consume more calories per body-size than adults in order to grow at a healthy rate, so they have extra energy that needs expending. Every child should get at least one hour of activity a day, whether that means playing outside, jumping on a trampoline or participating in an extra curricular sport.

Childhood Obesity

The World Health Organization states that as of 2013, 42 million children were considered overweight or obese. Even with government effort concentrated on curtailing childhood obesity over the last several years, the number of obese and overweight children are still too high.

Technology Stifles Activity

On average, children and teens ages 8-18 spend over 7 hours a day using or viewing technology. With so many kids opting for the TV or iPad over playing sports or neighbourhood games, it is no wonder activity levels have been steadily declining while obesity rates have been on the rise over the last 40 years. Between school, meals, homework and hours of dedicated technology use, there is little time left over for playing outdoors or exercising.

Hindered Social Skills

According to a study conducted by UCLA psychologists to measure sixth graders’ recognition of facial expressions, children who didn’t use technology in the preceding 5 days performed exceedingly better at identifying the correct emotions than those who used it every day. Furthermore, recent research suggests tweens and teens who use social media frequently put more effort into establishing surface-level ‘online’ friendships than real ones which appears to impact face-to-face social skills. Recent research done on video games in particular showed that average use of non-violent games didn’t have much impact on social skills, but excessive playing of violent video games was correlated with feelings of isolation, anger, and impaired social interactions.

Inactive Children Become Sedentary Adults

Less than 5% of American adults participate in the recommended 30 minutes of exercise daily, and less than 1 in 3 reach the weekly recommended amount of exercise. Sedentary lifestyles come with significant risks. Not everyone who is sedentary has a weight problem, but inactivity can be a precursor to cardiovascular disease no matter your size. Studies show that routine exercise promotes heart and brain health, mental health and overall wellbeing. If you are obese and inactive your risks for developing health complications are higher than someone who is inactive but of normal weight. Diseases that are directly correlated to obesity include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer among many others. So children who develop the habit of living inactively early on are likely to continue their unhealthy lifestyles, increasing their risk of developing inactivity or obesity related health conditions later in life.

Thus concludes our look at children and inactivity, stay tuned for our article on exercise ideas for the whole family next! Thanks for visiting DocChat!