Is Obesity Deadlier Than Cigarettes?

by Danny Fernsby
obese man holding belly fat and a burger

Obesity continues to be an issue and the ages of those diagnosed are getting younger every year. Some predict that soon it will be the number one cause of heart-related diseases. Most experts agree that smoking is the leader right now; however, obesity is quickly catching up. Many people are completely unaware of its seriousness, but there are several simple solutions to be preventing it.

Risks of Development

The factors that contribute to obesity are stressful on your heart. They also exacerbate existing cardiovascular disorders. The lifestyle you lead has a huge impact on your heart health. For example, regularly chowing down on fried or most fast food can clog your arteries. Your body doesn’t only store that fat in your butt, thighs, and stomach. It gathers around your heart and other vital organs.

Inactivity is a detrimental risk factor in both obesity and cardiovascular health. When you move it forces your body to workout on a microscopic level as well as muscular. It burns fat for energy to fuel your butt. You don’t have to start the 5K tomorrow just work a little movement into your week.

Fatty tissue accumulation causes a number of serious health issues.

  • obese man running on curved treadmill in gymStroke
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disorders
  • Gallstones
  • Gout
  • Breathing Conditions
  • Cancer
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Note: Don’t dismiss these last two out of hand. Severe cases mental and emotional stress can have serious effects on your physical health.


Obesity vs Overweight

The body mass index is a general guideline for determining where you fall on the scale. It is not perfect and does not work for all body types. It is a good place to start. An individual is considered overweight if he or she has a BMI of 25 to 30. Above 30 to 40 is classified as obese. Those who register higher are diagnosed as severely obese.

A BMI of 20 to 25 is an ideal weight range and under 18.5 is underweight. Keep in mind that this end of the BMI scale can also be a serious health risk. Don’t forget that this is not a perfect measurement. High intensity and strength training can result in a high BMI, but a low body fat percentage. The best way to determine your health goals, in this case, is to use a good old fashion tailor’s tape or a pair of calipers.


Prevention Measures

If you have been diagnosed as overweight, there are many things you can do to stop obesity in its tracks. Lose weight is obvious and often easier said than done. The first step is to evaluate your current dietary intake and physical activity level.

Don’t try to change too much too fast. Just take a look and see where you might tweak a few things. Once you have smashed these goals add a few more. Pretty soon you’ll be headed toward clean and lean.

Note: If you are under the care of a physician for being overweight, obesity or another health condition consult your doctor first.

  • Opt for plant-based oils for cooking instead of those loaded with saturated fat.
  • Eat fresh fruits and veggies every day, if possible.
  • Choose red meats that are lean, wild game, fish, or poultry.
  • Trim the skin and fat from all your meats before preparing.
  • Eat fewer sugary, refined, and highly processed snacks.
  • Opt for good fats from avocados, nuts, and seeds.
  • Get up and moving more every week.

The tips listed above can help you lose weight, get healthier, and prevent obesity. Following a dietary and fitness program can also prevent numerous other diseases. Remember to start small and work your way up. Know when to push yourself but know when its time to recover. Don’t push too hard, if you’re under the weather. Allow your body time to rest and recuperate.


Smoking Stats

man smoking cigaretteSmoking consequences are pretty grim too. If you are obese and you smoke, it may be time to consider a lifestyle change. Smoking is classified as the leading cause of preventable disease and death. It destroys your cells, tissues, and organs. Not one part of you is safe from the effects of tobacco use (1).

One of the major impacts smoking has on your health is arterial shrinkage. This means it restricts the flow of blood through your body. Smoking not only replaces the oxygen in your body but also it restricts what you have from reaching vital areas. This leads to cardiovascular disorders and, in severe cases, loss of limbs.

Health Impacts

  • Lung, Oral, & Other Cancers
  • Asthma, Bronchitis, & Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Heart Disease & Stroke
  • Diabetes & Loss of Extremities
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, & Blindness
  • Tooth Decay & Periodontal Disease


Take Away Tips

You don’t have to join a gym and quit eating all the food you love today or ever. You need only to make a commitment. There can be anywhere from 500 to 1,000 calories in one cheeseburger from a traditional fast food place. This means you could be chowing down on up to 20 grams of unhealthy fat per meal. This doesn’t include your fries, drink, or any dessert.

There are only 180 calories in turkey on whole wheat with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. This sandwich contains as little as 4 grams of saturated fat. It leaves a little room for some cool ranch dressing.

It is never too late to quit smoking and get fit. Consult your doctor on cessation methods. Cut out the bad fat and go for farm fresh. Get physical and move.


Cited Sources


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