It’s crazy how this generation gives so much regard and attention to sculpted bodies and overall physical appearance. You are deemed to be more desirable when you are in the considered perfect shape. It has eaten up expectations to the point that even landing on your dream job or getting due respect is already affected by it. And it has just become overwhelming that eating your heart out and not resenting seems to be such a reward for yourself. Besides, getting fat doesn’t really matter at all.
But… Doesn’t it, really?
There are a number of positive effects and important functions fat has in the body. It helps to maintain healthy skin and hair, it has a cushioning effect on the organs and the tissues, and they could also be immunity boosters to protect the body from ailments, just to give some examples. But as the saying goes everything in excess is not good. And excessive body fat has some serious effects on our body, some we may have already heard, and some, just so unexpected.
1. Fat messes up your sleep
Ever heard of sleep apnoea? It is a sleep disorder where your breathing is interrupted during sleep. Yup, it could happen to you. It makes your oxygen levels drop, which could affect several functions in your body and result to higher risk to more other illnesses. And it’s just one of the many.
2. It increases male hormones on females
You think being a fat kid is just being a fat kid? Wrong.
In a study from the University of Virginia Health System, a high level of male hormones, or testosterones, have been found in obese girls in their puberty age. Now this increases their risk of health problems that could occur at a later age. This could stem to heart diseases or even problems at child bearing, like polycystic ovary syndrome.
The worse? Those hormones can cause changes in the body like excess facial hair, acne, and some other more that are more distinct with male characteristics.
3. You develop bone problems
You’re at higher risk of osteoporosis. Obese women have always been thought to be protected against bone loss, fracture and osteoporosis. However, recent research has deemed this incorrect. In a study, published in 2014 in the Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism, it is said that excessive body fat, particularly fat in the middle area of the body, produces inflammatory cytokines, which may stimulate bone friction and reduce bone health.
While osteoporosis is greatly associated with women, men with heavy belly fat are also at risk. Furthermore, overweight children are even at higher risk as they can develop fragile bones even at a young age.
4. Your DNA is altered
Have you ever thought that body fat can even affect your DNA? Crazy, but true. You don’t even have to be obese to develop these negative effects. It appears that the effect of excessive fat extends to the heart of the brain cells the DNA. Some specific genes that are responsible for your memories no longer function properly. So…
5. Your memories get impaired
Degenerative changes in the hippocampus, a brain structure critical for the formation of memories, have been studied and abnormalities have been observed. Even your cells are at a total havoc! Your memories can get impaired and there could be a decline in your overall cognitive abilities in the long run.
Now, are waistline fats to blame for all your impaired reasoning?
6. Damaged skin
You may have guessed this. Stretch marks. But it isn’t only that. There’s thickening and darkening of the skin, swelling, irritation and whatnot. And those aren’t just mere cosmetic concerns. Don’t forget that the skin isn’t just there for your beauty, or overall appearance. It is the foremost barrier for your bloodstream; it protects you from infectious agents and other external dangers.
What may seem superficial can do you wonders or make you concerns.
7. Lower Body Temperature
What you thought you may have just guessed is true. Obese people (or even just overweight people) have been found to have lower body temperatures. So you feel warmer, or sweat more easily compared to people at a normal range of body fat percentage and to people who have less fat mass.
It is not just about feeling warmer, as body temperature also affects every process in your body, such as metabolism. And when I say metabolism, it doesn’t only mean getting your poop out of your system. It is as important as digesting all the nutrients your body needs, burning off calories and other chemical reactions within your body that is necessary for proper functioning.
8. You have higher chances of getting depressed
There’s been a long love affair for weight gain and depression. Depression causes obesity, and obesity causes depression. Such a tragic love story.
According to studies, obese people are 25% more likely to experience mood disorders such as depression. Having low self-esteem, feeling isolated from the society, and such are known to be major factors contributing to depression, and these are generally common to people who are obese. Also, some common diseases greatly associated with depression are also diseases common to people with higher body fat percentage, such as diabetes and hypertension.
9. Higher risk of heart problems
We’ve heard of it all. Excessive body fat carries a lot of risks, and the one most common heart problems. There’s stroke, hypertension, and the list goes on. But stroke being one of the most common causes of death, this is something that is mostly put in the spotlight. Your heart just can’t take your weight. Obesity interferes with the major processes your body does to keep you alive.
What else can go wrong?
10. Lower sperm count in men
Males’ sperm production are significantly lower when extra pounds are added, and there’s a higher risk of infertility. So… Higher body mass index (BMI), lower sperm count, lower semen quality.
To make things worse, there has been a study in 2012 in Spermatogenesis which says that male obesity also damages its offspring metabolic and reproductive health. Furthermore, obesity can also lead to lack of sexual stamina and sexual dysfunction, and the medicines you take for the diseases common to obesity, such as diabetes and hypertension, can lead to lack of libido and erectile dysfunction.