Numerous studies over the past three decades point to a strong connection between a person’s weight and their risk of several chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
Experts agree eating right and staying active not only help with your outward appearance, these things can help you stay healthy into old age, elevate your mood, and can improve your quality of life.
If swimsuit season isn’t motivation enough to lose those excess pounds, here are eight more for inspiration.
1- Walter Willett, the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition Chair, in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University published the first ever study documenting the association between excess weight and diabetes.
Willett and colleagues found even a few extra pounds increases diabetes risk, particularly if diabetes runs in the family. The good news is keeping a healthy weight — a body mass index (BMI) less than 25 — reduces your diabetes risk by 90 percent.
2- Carrying around extra pounds puts you at a higher risk for low back pain, joint pain and muscle strain. Extra weight pulls the pelvis forward, strains the low back and creates low back pain, which can lead to sciatica, pinched nerves, and herniated discs.
3- Depression and weight gain are interlinked, according to Belinda L. Needham, assistant professor of sociology at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Needham says young people who are depressed tend to stop exercising and start eating more.
Young people with depression gained weight more rapidly over a 15-year period and accrued more belly fat than those who appeared to be happier. Add to that, highly depressed people tend to gravitate to antidepressants that can cause weight gain as well, according to Needham's study published in The Journal of Public Health.
A review of studies as early as 1981 concluded that regular exercise not only helps maintain a health weight, it improves mood in people with mild to moderate depression. Exercise also may play a supporting role in treating severe depression.
4- Excess weight can lead to fertility trouble in adult men.