We all have fallen victims to belly fat at least once in our lives. Sometimes we may feel as though our weight gain is beyond our control, or we may feel as though it’s not affecting us, our lifestyle or our work in any way. Hey! We may even start to become comfortable in our own shoes, which you may not see, given the size of your enormous tummy which is blocking the view. So how come one who is at ease with himself and his appearance need to worry about belly fat and why should one consider losing weight, despite the person starting to appreciate his love-bun? The answer is quite obvious really.
Aside from the appearance, and the small non-issue of not being able to see one’s toes, weight gain causes significant amount of serious diseases, including obesity, cancer, diabetes and other hindrances such as back pain, laziness and blood pressure.
The most common outcome of weight gain is obesity. Obesity occurs when a person’s weight becomes so high that it is termed as obesity. According to World Health Organization, obesity has more than doubled since 2015. In 2014, 13% of adults worldwide aged 18 or above were obese. Over the past years, obesity has reached epidemic levels, with at least 2.8 million people dying annually around the world.
Obesity is defined as the excess of weight on a person’s body and can be measured using the body mass index (BMI) which is calculated as weight of a person in kilograms divided by the square of a person’s height in meters. Among adults, overweight is defined as a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 and obesity as a BMI of 30 or more.
There are other tools that are more accurate, but as BMI is so easy to calculate it is the most popular method of measuring obesity.
Obesity itself causes a wide variety of health problems that can debilitate quality of life.
Belly Fat And Infertility Problems In Men And Women: obesity causes infertility
Few people know this but belly fat actually causes a lot of fertility issues in both men and women. the reason why many people are unaware of this is because, very few studies are conducted to establish the scientific association between these two seemingly unrelated medical conditions. So, let’s take a look at how belly fat causes fertility issues in men and women separately, as their mechanism differs in the two sexes.
Infertility In Men
Belly fat is more likely to cause hormonal changes in men, than fat stored in other parts of the body. These hormonal changes can mess with a person’s fertility levels be lowering testosterone, increasing estrogen secretion and reducing Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Testosterone is the male hormone that helps in sperm growth, FSH works with luteinizing hormone (LH) to help improve and maintain the reproductive system.
This is due to the fact that adipose tissue, found in high levels in obese men, causes increased aromatase activity, which causes conversion of male sex hormone testosterone into female sex hormone estrogen and secretes adipose-derived hormones as well as adipokines, thereby decreasing male sexual functions, ultimately leading to infertility.
Moreover, obesity and decreased sex hormone activity in men has been linked with erectile dysfunction. A 2006 study published in European Urology showed that a massive 96.5% of the participants showed signs of metabolic syndrome, which is a strong indicator of abdominal obesity i.e belly fat, suffered from erectile dysfunction.
Infertility In Women
Belly fat has been linked with causing elevated insulin secretion in women. high insulin levels, as a result cause hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance in women which causes the androgen production to go into hyperdrive, causing Hyperandrogenism thereby increases estrogen levels. Most people think this is a good thing, that high estrogen levels, means high fertility. This is absolutely wrong as estrogen levels due to hyperinsulinemia can become so high that they start to kill ovary cells, therefore leading to infertility.
Belly fat may therefore be more harmful than normal obesity or weight gain in women as it increases the risk of hormonal imbalance and metabolic disorders all of which can lead to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the leading cause of infertility in women which affects a woman’s period, ovulation and hormonal levels.
Therefore, if both sex partners are obese, it greatly reduces the chances of successful conception, or worse lead to preterm birth or birth defects in a newborn.
Weight Gain Can Cause 13 Types Of Cancer
A recent study conducted by International Agency for Research on Cancer reviewed more than 1,000 reports, and in doing so has found strong evidence in eight further cancers that are caused by obesity. There were already 5 cancer types linked with obesity, so taking the total to 13. These include gastric, liver, gallbladder, pancreatic, ovarian, thyroid, blood (multiple myeloma) and brain (meningioma) cancers.
An estimated 640 million adults and 110 million children and adolescents were obese globally just three years back in 2013. According to the chairman of IARC Dr Graham Colditz, a professor of medicine and surgery at Washington University in St Louis, these 13 types of cancer cause 42% of all new cancer diagnoses, which means almost half of all cancer diagnoses could have been avoided if the person was not obese.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, therefore tackling it is a pretty huge deal, and may warrant some lifestyle changes.
Belly Fats And Metabolic Diseases Are Closely Related
Metabolism controls the way our body processes food and converts it into energy, which is the basic way our cells utilize energy to function properly and keep the body going. it is in simple terms the speed at which our body processes fat and also how quickly it prevents the fat loss to be regained by the body. metabolism is at the crux of weight gain and fat loss. Most of us do not understand it so we follow different crash diet plans which can have severe consequences on our metabolism.
Certain metabolic diseases slow down metabolism. Diseases are as follows:
- Insulin resistance (can cause PCOS, Diabetes, Metabolic syndrome)
- Cushing syndrome
Therefore if u suffer from weight gain it might be due to metabolic diseases which can be genetic as well.
One of the most common metabolic disorders is hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid gland. The thyroid is a small gland located in the front of your neck that produces and releases different hormones that affect the way our body uses metabolism. If you have hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland does not function properly. As a result, inadequate amounts of thyroid hormones are produced, slowing down metabolism. When metabolism is slowed down, weight loss becomes difficult, and ultimately reversed and lead to weight gain.
When we consume carbohydrates, our body breaks them down into the simple sugar glucose. Glucose stimulates insulin release from the pancreas. Normally, insulin binds to glucose and helps our cells and tissues utilize the glucose molecules for energy. Once the glucose is removed from our bloodstream, our pancreas stops secreting insulin.
If we suffer from insulin resistance our insulin producing mechanism becomes faulty. As a result, these cells do not receive glucose properly and glucose levels in the bloodstream remain high. The constant high glucose levels trigger the continual release of insulin from the pancreas. This causes high levels of insulin and glucose in the bloodstream and cells that are starved of energy. This combination leads to increased hunger, which can hinder weight loss. If not properly managed, insulin resistance can develop into Type 2 diabetes. Therefore, we must keep a close eye on our weight and not let it go completely out of hand.
Stress And Belly Fats, What’s The Relation?
“Stress kills” isn’t just a cliche, it’s the absolute stress. Stress can for the most part cause many different symptoms of diseases and host of different problems, including blood pressure, diabetes, migraines, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer.
Stress is managed by the stress hormone in our body, cortisol. Not only is cortisol released in extremely stressful situations it can also release when there is a low blood glucose concentration, meaning our body is hungry for some food.
due to cortisol release stress slows the body’s metabolism and in the late fasting state, the function of cortisol somewhat reverses and increases glycogenesis, the process of converting glucose to glycogen. This response allows the liver to store glucose not being used by the peripheral tissue and turn it into glycogen to be used if the body has to face periods of extreme starvation.
This can stop weight loss, in fact reverse it and ultimately lead to weight gain. Not only stress in itself is bad, it causes hormonal changes and above all causes people to binge eat as a coping mechanism to deal with emotional stress.
By keeping in mind all these points its time to rethink your opinion about weight, and even if you are not bothered by its effects on your appearance, you should worry about the massive health consequences weight gain can have on your physical and emotional health.