Obesity can seem like something that happens to other people, not you, but in fact, you might be a person with obesity. In America, the US obesity prevalence was recently 42.4%, according to the CDC. That's a lot of people whose weight is above normal, and it's a dangerously high number: Obesity can cause all kinds of death and health issues, including high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, a stroke, gallbladder disease—and it makes other diseases, like COVID, way worse. That's why knowing these 5 tips could be key to saving your life. For 5 reasons why you may be a person with obesity, read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.
You Might Have Dyspnea or Shortness of Breath
If you find even the briefest of travels results in you being unable to catch your breath, you might have a weight problem. The reason why is obvious but that makes it no less chilling: The excess fat impedes your breathing. It is literally constructing your breath.
You Might Find Exercise Completely Discouraging
If the simplests of exercises get you down because you're out of breath or just can't muster up the energy to move your body, then you may have a problem. The body is built for movement. It thrives on energy in and out. We're blessed to have muscles and tendons and bones and brains all working in tandem, and when bogged down by excess weight, they cannot move. This can lead to a decline in your physical abilities.
You Might Have High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be the result of many issues, but obesity is often a factor. "Obesity predisposes to hypertension and alters the course of hypertensive cardiovascular disease in ways that are only now coming to be appreciated," says one recent study in the Ochsner Journal. "The strong association of obesity with diabetes further complicates the picture in patients with such conditions and complicates the design of effective therapeutic interventions. However difficult to achieve, weight loss must be the first line of therapy."
You Might Have Aching Knees
"Anterior knee pain (pain in the front of the knee during sitting and walking up and down stairs) is often a burden for those experiencing chronic knee pain," says the University of Michigan Medicine department. "Obesity complicates this condition as the structures of the anterior knee including the patella experience increased forces up to five times our body weight."
How to See if You're a Person With Obesity
If your weight is higher than what is considered a normal weight—adjusted for your height—then you are described as having obesity. The most common tool to measure obesity is your BMI. Says the NIH: "BMI is the tool most commonly used to estimate and screen for overweight and obesity in adults and children. BMI is defined as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. For most people, BMI is related to the amount of fat in their bodies, which can raise the risk of many health problems. A health care professional can determine if a person's health may be at risk because of his or her weight." Traditionally, if you have a BMI 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obesity range.
BMI aside, another way to conclude you may be a person with obesity is to grab a tape measure. "For men, check to see if your waist circumference is more than 40 inches. In women, check to see if it's more than 35. Those numbers indicate you are overweight." Contact a medical professional if this happens to you. And to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss these First Signs You Have a Serious Illness.