Weight loss. What have you got to lose … besides the lbs.?

It’s a known fact. Being overweight or obese isn’t just a cosmetic problem … Excessive weight puts physical and mental strain on your body.

What’s considered excess weight?

The most efficient way to determine if your weight puts you at risk for serious health issues is to check your body mass index (BMI), which is a mathematical measurement of your weight in relation to your height. Check your BMI now.

Is your health at risk?

If your BMI is 30 or higher, your health may be at risk for these types of health issues:

yourAZhealth_WeightMgmt_July2016_finalBones and Joint Problems: If you are overweight or obese, the excess weight takes a toll on your bones, joints and muscles. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, every pound of excess weight gained puts an extra four pounds of pressure on your knee joints alone. So, if you gain five pounds of excess weight, each knee carries 20 lbs. of pressure.

Excess weight can also affect connecting tissues around your joints, including tendons and muscles, which can become inflamed from the added strain. And, with excess weight, you are more likely to suffer from bone issues, like dislocations, stress fractures, arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Heart and Blood Diseases: Having an unhealthy level of body weight is a series health concern and can result in life-threatening health issues, including coronary heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Cancers: Being overweight or obese actually raises your risk for different types of cancers, including colon/colorectal cancer, gallbladder cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, thyroid cancer and uterine cancer … just to name a few.

Breathing Issues: Excess weight, resulting in a high BMI, may negatively affect how well your lungs can work. As a result, unhealthy weight can lead to several respiratory problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea, asthma and obesity hypoventilation syndrome.

Additional Physical Health Problems: The list of health issues related to excess weight just keeps going. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of additional physical health concerns, including urinary stress incontinence, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn, and lymphedema (limb swelling).

Mental Health Issues: What’s more, excess weight is also directly related to mental health concerns, namely clinical depression — although studies argue about which comes first. A person suffering from depression can turn to food for solace — resulting in emotional eating, which many times can lead to obesity. On contrary, a person who gains excess weight may suffer from low self-esteem or self-image, which can result in depression.

Health Concerns Just for Women: According to U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, more than 60% of U.S. adult women are overweight, and one third of these women are considered obese. In addition to the abovementioned health issues, overweight and obese women may also suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) — which may lead to menstrual irregularities that can, in turn, lead to a higher risk of miscarriage and even infertility.

What can you do to achieve a healthier you?

If your weight is negatively affecting your health, it’s time to lose the excess weight. But how to go about losing the weight is challenging for many. Consider this staggering statistic: 95% of “diets” usually fail. In many cases, individuals who initially lose weight via a restrictive diet end up regaining that lost weight … and then some! As a result, this frustration many times perpetuates the problem!

But there is a solution. Weight loss surgery, combined with healthy eating and lifestyle habits, is actually proven to result in long-term weight loss that can reverse obesity-related health issues. For more information about your options, visit www.BridgesAZ.com.


The Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Management at St. Luke’s Medical Center is dedicated to helping individuals achieve and maintain a healthy body weight to promote overall physical and mental health and wellness. For more information about the Bridges Center, visit www.BridgesAZ.com.