What kind of weight problems do people experience?
Many people equate weight problems with obesity, but the reality is that weight problems can take different forms. It is easy to be envious of people who never seem to gain weight no matter how much they eat, but difficulty gaining weight can be just as frustrating and unhealthy as difficulty losing weight. At the same time, it is erroneous to assume that people who are overweight are lazy or eat too much. Weight gain – and weight loss – can happen for all kinds of reasons.
Some examples of weight problems include the following:
- Eating disorders: Anorexia nervosa, bulimia and compulsive eating can result from trauma, abuse and mental illness. Weight problems resulting from eating disorders are unlikely to go away until the underlying issues have been addressed.
- Thyroid problems: Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to weight gain and weight loss respectively.
- Other medical conditions: PCOS, Cushing’s Syndrome and some tumours can result in weight gain.
- Lifestyle factors: Nutrition, exercise and the use of drugs and alcohol can have an affect on weight.
How do weight problems impact my health?
Excess weight and insufficient weight both come with their health risks. People who are underweight may experience some or all of the following:
- Delayed growth: Children need plenty of nutrients in order to sustain healthy physical and mental development.
- Weak immune system: If your body is not storing enough energy, your immune system may have a hard time fighting off infection and recovering from illness.
- Brittle bones: People who are underweight are more prone to osteoporosis and bone injurues such as fractures.
- Anemia: A lack of nutrients often results in a deficiency of iron, folic acid and vitamin B12.
- Hair loss: Without nutrients to feed the hair follicles, hair can start to thin.
People who are overweight are at risk in different ways, including the following:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure
- Fatty liver disease
- Sleep apnea
- Some cancers
- Injuries resulting from the body being unbalanced