Healthy Living

What difference do a few extra pounds make?

What difference does our amount of body fat make? Maybe, you are like my friend Brenda who likes her extra 50 pounds of fat. She thinks she looks too old if she loses it. Consider the ABC’s outlined by Dr. Greger. Obesity worsens or causes all these.

Arthritis: obesity increases joint damage, inflammation.

Back pain and Blood pressure: obesity increases cholesterol which clogs arterial blood flow to discs in the spine. Visceral fat around the organs compresses the kidneys increasing blood pressure.

Cancer: thousands of studies link obesity with increased risk of cancer

Diabetes: Obesity is the single most important risk factor for developing type 2.

Encephalopathy or Brain disease: obesity in midlife increases dementia risk by 90%.

Failed fertility: obese men and women are less fertile. We won’t get into “lost penis”. :-O

Gall stones and GERD: obesity is linked to a 700% increased risk for gall stones. GERD, also called “reflux” or “heartburn”, is worse in the obese because excess belly fat pushes the stomach contents up into the esophagus and because the diet is devoid of proper proportions of fiber. 

Heart disease: studies show that just a 20% weight loss can decrease heart attack risk significantly.

Immunity: our killer cells are severely impaired by obesity, increasing our risk of viral infection as well as cancer.

Jaundice: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common liver disease on the planet. Obesity raises the risk 80-90%. NAFL disease increases the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Kidney disease: obesity is one of the strongest risk factors for kidney failure.

Medical spending attributed to obesity is nearly $2,000 per American per year. Companies can pay up to $10,000 more in health care coverage for obese employees compared to their lean co-workers. Dr. Greger writes that the cost of lost productivity and medical expenses are great with obesity but the greatest cost is loss of life from shortened life-span due to obesity. Amen.
No Such Thing as Fat but Fit
Don’t let the absence of negative health markers like high blood pressure, or high blood sugar make you believe you are healthy. Dr. Greger says, followed long enough, overweight but metabolically healthy people have an increased risk of heart disease, fatty liver disease, diabetes, and premature death.
Check back next week for optimal weight and BMI for longevity. 
Until then, make my “Seven-day Salad”. Find it here at 

Kristi Whitley