With less than 4 weeks left in my 1st semester of nursing school I started to notice a trend. The trend was the importance of nutrition and exercise in disease process. Two of the longest lectures this semester were on activity and nutrition and the importance to teach our patients to properly incorporate them both into their lives.
As a society we normally associate food and exercise with only one thing, being fat or being skinny. What we really should be associating them to is healthy and unhealthy. When it comes down to it is all about physiology. Our bodies only need a certain amount of calories and nutrients to function. Anything else will either get converted to fat or is excreted out of our bodies to maintain homeostasis (balance). Obesity’s relation to disease is our focus today.
Certain macronutrients, I am speaking of carbohydrates and protein, when consumed in excess are converted to triglycerides (fat) in our bodies. Studies have shown that excess fat in our bodies increases our risk for obesity related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers.
With obesity our bodies are no longer in balance. Our heart has to pump out a greater volume of blood when our body surface area increases which can lead to high blood pressure and eventually heart disease. Excess hormones secreted by our bodies due to an increase in fat can aid in cancer development. Obesity can also affect our bodies ability to produce insulin. Ironically enough, it also prevents our ability to move in order to burn off excess calories because of the amount of strain excess weight places on our joints. The National Institute of Health has written several articles that correlate obesity with a decline in life expectancy.
If you ask me, living a longer, disease free life is a greater motivator to lose weight than fitting into skinny jeans is.
Disclaimer: I am not a a doctor and all the information provided in this post is based on my personal research. Please consult with a qualified professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise program.