The Health Consequences of Being Overweight

If you’re a man who is overweight, that’s no laughing matter. It can take years off your life. If you have a body mass index of 25 or higher, you may want to read up on these potential health risks: coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Weight gain doesn’t just happen overnight. In fact, it creeps up slowly over time. It makes prevention key to keeping your BMI in check.

Obesity is often referred to as overweight or being over-fat. It is a condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to such an extent that it may harm health. People who are obese have an excessively high amount of body fat compared with lean muscle mass.

Many medical conditions, illnesses, drugs, and toxins can result in weight gain. When food intake exceeds energy output over time, many people experience weight gain. Obesity is considered one of today’s most serious public health problems due to its potential effects on both physical and mental well-being. Here are some of the health risks linked to being overweight.

Prostate Cancer

A recent study of 900,000 persons found that obese patients were more likely to die of several types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Obese men are less likely than thin men to have routine PSA tests or digital rectal exams, which can find cancer at an early stage when it’s easier to treat. Fat cells may also increase levels of male hormones that make tumors grow faster.

It also may be that extra weight strains the prostate over time, leading to enlargement and possibly cancer. Obesity makes prostate cancer treatment harder since chemotherapy drugs don’t work well on obese patients because chemo doesn’t stay in their bodies for long.


The extra weight you’re carrying puts pressure on your joints, eventually leading to arthritis. One study found that people who were obese in their 50s had double the risk of developing osteoarthritis than those who were not. Weight loss has been shown to alleviate symptoms and decrease progression in osteoarthritis patients.

Exercise can also help reduce joint pain. If you have a family history of arthritis or other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, it is even more important to control weight and remain active.

High Uric Acid

Research suggests that high uric acid levels might increase your risk of developing gout. Gout is arthritis that results in sudden attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in your joints. It usually develops in your big toe but can affect other joints as well.

Food like beer, wine, meat, poultry, and seafood can cause your body to produce more uric acid than usual. Avoid them if you want to lower your uric acid levels. Milk, whole grains, legumes, prunes, plums, and cherries are rich in nutrients that can help flush excess uric acid from your system. This way, you’ll be able to reduce the chances of a gout attack.

Here are some diet tips for lowering uric acid:

  • Drink a lot of water to flush out uric acid
  • Eat food rich in magnesium, such as green leafy vegetables
  • Avoid alcohol or at least drink only moderate amounts
  • Limit intake of protein food such as meat

You can also take supplements that reduce uric acid to prevent gout attacks. Some products contain cherry and celery seed extract for a more natural ingredient; others have omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil, and some have probiotics for your digestive system. When choosing a product, it’s best to consult your doctor or pharmacist first.

Sperm Quality

It’s no secret that being obese is bad for your heart. And according to recent research, it might also be bad for your sperm. In a study co-authored by an assistant professor at Harvard School of Public Health, obese men can produce a lower count of sperm or even no sperm at all. It could even potentially contribute to fertility problems than their normal-weight peers due to the lower sperm count. So if you’re trying to start a family, watching your weight may be just as important as paying attention to what you eat and how much exercise you get.

Sperm quality isn’t only linked to poor diets, exposure to toxins, and exposure to other harmful things (cigarettes can cause infertility); it also depends on drinking lots of fluids and reducing stress. Too much stress can kill off good sperm.

Final Thoughts

Having a healthy weight is vital for your physical, mental, and social health. With all of these health risks and other factors associated with being overweight, it’s clear that losing weight and taking other precautions is the smart choice.

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