Obesity and Women’s Health

The truth is that obesity is dangerous.

Obesity has a direct impact on health and as a woman, even more so.

Obesity affects your reproductive health and family-planning; it increases your risk for disease, and it negatively impacts your quality of life.

How does being overweight affect my family planning?
In a study following women on hormonal contraceptives, they found that women with a BMI of 27.3 or higher had a 60% increased risk of unintended pregnancy, and a 70% increased risk for those with a BMI of 32.3 or higher.

Not only does excess fat decrease the effectiveness of birth control, but it also negatively affects a woman’s fertility. Fat secretes hormones, and when the body has too much fat, the extra hormones can cause imbalances and negatively affect ovulation. Obesity is also associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which can also cause infertility.

More than just fertility, obesity in a mother affects the health of a baby. Obesity is positively associated with pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, stillbirth, and other issues or complications.

Enough about the baby talk –how does it increase my disease?
Everyone knows that obesity is unhealthy, but what they might not know is exactly how or why. Obesity increases risk for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It also has a huge effect on your risk for cancers like breast, endometrial, colon, rectal, kidney, head and neck, esophageal, pancreatic, gallbladder, and thyroid cancer.

On average, obesity can decrease your life by 8 years.

Well, what about quality of life?
We had mentioned earlier that obesity does increase your risk for depression and Alzheimer’s but more than that obesity can affect how you feel on a day-to-day basis. It increases your lower back pain, increases your likeliness for arthritis, and makes moving around a lot harder. The good news is that just losing a little bit of weight can increase the enjoyment of your life. They say 1 lb. of body fat takes off 4 lbs. of pressure off of your knees. Just imagine how much a life could improve if someone went from obese to a healthy weight.