If you’re reading this blog, I feel like it is safe to assume that you know that being heavy is detrimental to your health in ways other than seeing a less-than-ideal version of yourself in the mirror.

But here are a few side-effects that may surprise even you – and perhaps inspire you to begin to get healthy even when that mirror image cannot.

Increased Cancer Risk

The National Cancer Institute associates 34,000 new cases of cancer in men and 50,000 in women each year with obesity.

Dr. Raul Seballos, vice chairman of preventive medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, is quoted as saying, “Excess fat cells increase hormonal activity or they increase growth factors that lead to tumor growth.”

Obese people are at higher risk for all cancers, Seballos said.

They are often diagnosed in later stages of cancer than thinner people and are more likely to die from the disease. Some emerging data looking at weight-loss-surgery patients suggests that some of this risk can be diminished by losing weight.

Increased Infertility

Overweight women have a harder time getting pregnant.

One Indian study of 300 morbidly obese women found that over 90 percent of them developed polycystic ovarian disease, a condition associated with infertility, over a three-year period.

“Obesity is an inflammatory state and that alone might decrease fertility,” noted Dr. Marc Bessler, director of Center for Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia University Medical Center. “It may also be the result of hormone changes produced by the fatty tissue.”

Increased Premature Birth Risks

For heavier women who do get pregnant, the worries may continue.

A study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that obesity increases a woman’s chance of having a preterm baby, especially when her body mass index is 35 or higher.

The study’s authors speculate that having too much fat may inflame and weaken the uterine and cervical membranes. Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death and long-term disabilities.

Less or Poor-Quality Sleep

Dr. Donald Hensrud, a nutritionist and preventive medicine expert at the Mayo Clinic, said one of the most immediate health dangers for many obese people is sleep apnea, a condition in which a person gasps or stops breathing momentarily while asleep.

“Sleep apnea can be caused by increased fat around the neck area that presses down and closes off the soft tissues of the airways while a person is lying down, especially on his back,” Hensrud said. “This means the person does not get good quality sleep, has less oxygen in the blood stream, and the heart has to work harder.”

Less Money

An intriguing George Washington University School of Public Health study found a strong connection between greater obesity and shrinking wages.

Examining data from the 2004 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the researchers discovered that wages among the obese were $8,666 less for females and $4,772 lower for males compared with their thinner counterparts.

In 2008, the researchers found wages were $5,826 less for obese females — a 14.6 percent penalty over normal-weight females.

In a similar University of Florida study, women who weighed 25 pounds less than a control group average earned $15,572 a year more than women of normal weight and women who tipped the scales at 25 pounds above the average weight earned an average of $13,847 less than an average-weight female. Interestingly, in this study, they found no such disparity among men.

For these five reasons and countless others, you deserve to live as healthy and happy a life as you can. Contact Mediplan Diet Center today and let us help you to exactly that!