The consequences of having a history of obesity are the risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. In addition, a history of obesity predisposes the patient to future weight gain, even if he has lost weight in the past. Family history also plays a role in obesity, as do family eating habits. The effects of obesity can be devastating, especially to children.
Typically, the effects of childhood obesity follows children through adulthood, unless measures are taken to restore a healthy lifestyle. In addition, a history of obesity can cause wear and tear on bones and joints, causing limited mobility, arthritic changes in the joints, and decreased range of motion. Commonly, a history of obesity in parents poses a risk factor for children, however, these risk factors are very modifiable.
When a history of obesity is present, the physician can work with the patient to recommend a healthy eating program and exercise program. When first starting an exercise program, especially if the person is currently obese, the physician should make sure the program is not too exhaustive. People who are obese frequently suffer from high blood pressure, and starting a vigorous exercise program can put them at risk for heart attack, stroke, or injury.
High cholesterol levels can also be the result of a long history of obesity. Poor diets that are high in saturated fat can increase total cholesterol values and predispose people to coronary artery disease, blood clots, and strokes. Steps should be taken to reduce cholesterol levels such as losing weight, eating healthy, not smoking and in some cases, taking cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins.
The side effects of obesity sometimes become apparent, even at an early age. Some obese children begin exhibiting evidence of arterial plaque buildup, hypertension, and high cholesterol in their early teens. Measures can be taken to reverse some of the damage and prevent future health consequences. When parents and health care providers work in conjunction with obese children, positive outcomes frequently emerge.
Commonly, a history of obesity can make it even more challenging for a person to lose weight. They often become discouraged and lack motivation. With encouragement and support from family, friends, and even diet support groups, these people can go on to lose large amounts of weight. In addition, depression that often accompanies obesity can be greatly reduced or even eliminated when steps are taken toward a healthier lifestyle.