Obesity results from excessive accumulation of fat that exceeds the body’s skeletal and physical standards for age, sex and height. A BMI > 25 is over weight and > 30 is obese.
Though excessive calorie intake is important factor for the development of obesity, certain hormones regulated by genes are equally important for obesity. Certain hormones regulated by genes are equally important factor for obesity . Excess calorie intake in relation to physical requirement causes obesity. 17% more women are obese , compared to men, having greater health and socio economically implications. Excess fat women’s health by creating the imbalance in sex steroid hormones especially estrogen and androgen. Women suffer from obesity and co-morbid diseases more in comparison with men. Every age group of women has age specific diseases due to obesity.
Childhood and Puberty (15-20 Yrs)
Obesity affects the ovarian function with an imbalance in estrogen and androgen , causing polycystic ovarian diseases (PCOS) . It manifests with menstrual irregularities and hair growth in male pattern, called hirsutism, obese teens have low self esteem and poor self confidence, affecting their performance in school and studies.
Child Bearing Age Group ( 21-30 Yrs)
This age group obesity causes major problem of infertility and bad obstetrics history. 15% of infertility problem are linked with obesity . Obesity causes irregular ovulation and poor quality of ovum. Obese women are less likely to respond to infertility days and need hyper doses and prolonged treatment. Even after conception an obese women faces increased risk o f repeated abortions and a pregnancy complicated with diabetes, hypertension , thrombo embolic events , respiratory disorders like asthama and sleep apnea and vascular infections. Also obesity complicates both the vaginal and caesarean section deliveries by shoulder dystopia, post partum hemorrhage , uterine rupture and increased risk of anesthesia.
Obesity related adverse outcomes on the fetus include neural tube defects which increases by 7% with every unit increases in BMI . There is a 3 fold in risk of ante partum still birth in morbidly obese women. Also higher incidence of macrosomia , preterm birth and IUGR in PIH are seen. Not only has this but an obese woman passed on the abnormal metabolic molecule to the fetus leading to obesity in her children with early onset metabolic diseases. This affecting the future generation.
Premenopausal Age Group ( >40 Years)
Obesity in this age group leads to poor quality of life, complicated with diabetes , high blood pressure and cholesterol, breathing problems, and sleep apnea, digestive disorders like acid reflux and gall stones. Increased weight leads to osteoarthritis of weight bearing joints like up knee and spine. Breast, uterine and ovarian cancers have higher incidence in obese women. Obesity not only decreases the life span but leads to a very poor quality of life for affected ladies. Their social life is restricted and health compromised.
With rapid rise in obesity in all age groups it is set to become a global epidemic. Life style changes are the need of hence to combat this killer disease. Healthy diet and exercise can help in reversing it.
For those who have advanced beyond, bariatric surgery offers the last ray of hope not only to reduce weight but get rid of associated diseases and a better reproductive outcome.
Article Source – http://asianbariatrics.blogspot.in/2017/09/women-and-obesity.html
Author: Dr. Sanjay Patolia is one of the most experienced and eminent obesity surgeon of India – the recipient of Surgeon of Excellence Award from SRC USA. He is also the co-founder and promoter of Asian Bariatrics, Asia’s largest Bariatrics center.