A calorie is the unit of measure for the energy that food supplies to your body. Regardless of whether the food is a protein, carbohydrate or a fat, it contains calories. You must strike a balance between calories consumed and calories used to avoid gaining weight. Any type of physical activity burns calories, so avoid a sedentary lifestyle. With obesity and weight-related diseases at high levels in America, it's important to consume only the number of calories your body requires.
1. Weight Gain
Calories provide the energy needed for bodily functions and other physical activity, but unused calories can lead to weight gain. Your body converts and stores excess calories as fat. Over time, fat deposits can result in overweight or obesity, leading to mobility difficulties, sleep apnea and respiratory problems. Excess pounds significantly reduce your level of activity as you age.
2. Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Illnesses
Foods that are high in calorie content generally contain refined carbohydrates, saturated and trans fats. Consumption of large amounts of these foods increases the low-density lipoproteins in your body, which can result in atherosclerosis and hypertension.
Obese persons are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Obesity causes higher resistance to insulin, resulting into spiking of blood sugar levels. Diabetes increases the risks of stroke, vision loss, kidney disease and heart attack. It is also paramount to watch calorie intake during pregnancy. Excessive weight gain at that time can cause gestational diabetes, a temporary condition that can lead to early birth, caesarian section and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes later in life for the mother.
Obese children are frequent targets for ridicule at school and elsewhere. Overweight adults face similar problems. Taunting, shunning or embarrassment can lead to isolation, depression, stress and other health problems, regardless of age.
- Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention: Balancing Calories
- Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention: Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity
- American Journal of Hypertension: Abdominal Obesity, Body Mass Index, and Hypertension in US Adults: NHANES 2007–2010
- LSU Health Sciences Center: Obesity and Diabetes
- Global Healing Center: How Stress Affects Our Bodies
- Baby Center: Gestational Diabetes
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