Overweight and Obesity Hazards to Health

Sometime spend an hour or so carrying around a 5-pound bag of flour, a 10-pound bag of potatoes, or a heavy phone book. Tiring? That's the extra burden on your body and heart when you carry extra pounds of body fat. The more excess body fat you have, the greater that burden. Every body system—including the lungs, the heart, and the skeleton—has to work harder just to move.

Many health problems, noted in the chart "Risky Business" on page 31, are linked to overweight and obesity. And in 2005, an estimated 112,000 deaths annually were linked to obesity. Chapter 22 explores the links between overweight and obesity, and cardiovascular health, some cancers, and diabetes.

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