Excessive amounts of body fat constitute a health hazard, especially due to the risk of some diseases
(such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and some types of cancer), respiratory failure (sleep apnea) and the consequences "Mechanical" caused by overloading on the joints (spine, knees, hips, etc.).
The greater the excess weight due to fat, the greater the risk. There are also some types of body fat distribution (on the trunk: typical of men and women after menopause) where the risk to health, with the same excess weight, is higher than for others (on the hips and thighs) : typical of women of childbearing age).
It is therefore necessary that people with this risky body profile monitor their weight more carefully. Excess body fat can be of varying degrees. The mildest grade is classified as overweight. Moderate obesity and severe obesity follow.
The risk to health becomes more concrete in the category of moderate obesity, and grows significantly with increasing weight. The inverse problem of obesity – but equally serious, although less common – is that of thinness. Today a growing number of adolescents and young people are incited by modern aesthetic models proposed by the mass media to reduce weight to such low values that they are no longer compatible with good health.
In fact, when the fat reserves are excessively reduced and not enough energy is introduced with food, the body, in order to cope with energy demands, is obliged to damage its muscles and internal organs. Therefore many metabolic and endocrine functions are compromised: resistance to infectious diseases decreases; the bones weaken; the regularity of the menstrual cycle can be altered.
Even mental faculties, mood and interpersonal relationships are compromised and, in the most serious cases, death can occur. Pathological thinness must therefore be prevented and combated. As for obesity, various degrees are distinguished also by thinness: the lightest is classified as underweight, followed by moderate thinness and severe thinness.
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