How Being Overweight Affects Your Health and Hair

Obesity can have some serious health effects, not to mention the impact it has on your self-esteem. A lot of people suffer from low self-esteem when they are overweight, and this is the main reason why they don’t take care of their hair as much as they should. If you want to be healthier and happier, it’s important to lose weight, but you also need to pay special attention to your hair in order to make sure that you won’t get hair loss or other negative side effects from being overweight.



Diabetes is a serious condition in which your body has trouble processing sugar (glucose). Too much sugar in your blood can cause health problems, including damage to your heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. A person who is overweight or obese is more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight. In fact, a study published in 2007 found that being overweight increases an individual’s risk of developing diabetes by 57 percent. And as if that wasn’t scary enough, a study conducted by National Health Statistics Reports determined that 29 percent of all children between ages 10 and 17 are considered overweight or obese.

Many factors affect whether you will develop diabetes, but one thing seems clear: those who are overweight have more difficulty maintaining good control over their blood sugar levels. Plus, there are links between obesity and high blood pressure; both raise your risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus. The good news is that losing just 5 to 7 percent of your total body weight can help normalize your glucose levels; higher amounts of weight loss may even lower them below what they were when you were at a normal weight!

Heart problems


Studies have shown that heart problems are more common in overweight individuals. Excess weight increases your risk of developing a condition called obstructive sleep apnea, which causes you to stop breathing during sleep because your throat muscles relax and block your airway. Other conditions associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure, may increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Heart attacks are most common among people who are obese or overweight. However, it’s important to note that not all studies show an increased risk for heart attack due to obesity—one study showed a decreased risk for men aged 40–74 years old who were obese versus those who weren’t obese.

Many studies have linked excess weight to an increased risk of a heart attack in both men and women. While studies have shown that obese people are more likely to die from a heart attack than normal-weight individuals, not all studies show an increased risk for heart attack due to obesity. For example, one study showed a decreased risk for men aged 40–74 years old who were obese versus those who weren’t obese. The researchers found that while they did see higher rates of obesity-related problems such as high blood pressure among their sample population, they didn’t actually see an increase in heart attacks when they compared normal-weight men with obese men.

Losing Hair


One of the most obvious signs of being overweight is hair loss, due to a number of factors. For one, thinning hair can be a symptom of simply aging; however, many people notice thinning before other age-related signs emerge. Additionally, hormone imbalances caused by obesity can cause hair loss in both men and women. Female pattern baldness is also more common among obese women than those who are at a healthy weight. Male pattern baldness is linked to obesity as well, with most men noticing thinning hair at some point during their lives—and 85 percent reporting increased hair loss after they reached middle age. To treat or prevent these issues from worsening, it’s important to monitor your weight and improve your health through exercise and diet changes (more on that later).

Due to these hormone imbalances, some overweight individuals also experience a condition called acanthosis nigricans. This condition creates darkened patches of skin—typically on elbows, knees, and underarms—that can appear darker than your natural skin tone. It’s caused by insulin resistance, which reduces how efficiently your body converts glucose into energy; as a result, more glucose is absorbed by fatty tissue instead of being used for cell growth. This can lead to insulin resistance in hair follicles that stimulate faster growth of keratin proteins in your skin cells. The resulting darkened spots aren’t typically considered medically dangerous or cause serious damage to internal organs; however, they are an outward sign that you have a growing weight problem.

Lower Chances of Getting Pregnant


In addition to affecting fertility, being overweight can also negatively impact a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Some research suggests that women who are obese may have an increased risk of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. One large study found that women with BMIs over 30 (the cutoff for obesity) had twice as many miscarriages during their first trimester as normal-weight women did. And if it takes you longer to get pregnant, your baby could be at higher risk for birth defects or childhood obesity.

A 2014 study of 50,000 women in Denmark found that a woman who was underweight when she conceived had twice as many stillbirths as normal-weight women. Women who were overweight but not obese were 11 percent more likely to have a stillbirth than normal-weight women, while obese women were 23 percent more likely. Since pregnancy is already a stressful time on your body, it makes sense that adding extra stress could negatively impact you. If you’re gaining too much weight during pregnancy, your risk of developing gestational diabetes increases by 40 percent; excessive weight gain can also contribute to high blood pressure or preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension). But remember: even if you are under- or overweight when you conceive, dieting during pregnancy isn’t recommended.

Mental Health Problems


You’re much more likely to be depressed, anxious, or suicidal if you’re overweight or obese. In fact, recent research suggests that a third of all cases of depression may be caused by obesity. These mental health problems can lead to even worse physical health, including heart disease and diabetes. – Lack of Sleep: It’s more difficult for obese people to sleep because they’re often in pain from backaches or sore joints. The fat tissue around their bodies means it takes longer for them to cool down at night; coupled with excessive sleepiness due to poor quality sleep, it becomes a vicious cycle that leads many people who are overweight (particularly those who are morbidly obese) being unable to get a good night’s rest.

Breathing Difficulties


When your weight is too high, it can interfere with how well you can breathe. People who are overweight may struggle to breathe normally and may suffer from sleep apnea (pauses in breathing during sleep). If your BMI is over 30, you’re at risk for these health problems. Even losing just 10 percent of your body weight can reduce sleep apnea symptoms by 50 percent. Talk to your doctor about losing that extra weight—and make sure to get enough restful sleep. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate other problems caused by being overweight, such as asthma or a weakened immune system. When trying to lose fat, focus on diet first, then exercise, so you get good rest every night!

– Digestive Issues: You may be familiar with some of the digestion’s most common issues, such as heartburn or constipation. But being overweight can also lead to issues like bloating, diarrhea, cramping, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you’re struggling with digestive problems related to your weight, talk to your doctor. There are many different factors that can influence digestive health. Many of these issues can be solved by losing a few pounds. It may seem hard at first but after it becomes part of your routine you will be better off!
– Diabetic Problems: Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem in America—and it has been linked to obesity more than anything else.

An Increased Risk of Arthritis


Too much extra weight puts a strain on your joints, particularly in your knees. Excess body fat can also lead to an increased risk of osteoarthritis. According to one study, men in their mid-40s who were overweight were more than twice as likely to have signs of osteoarthritis in their knees than men of similar age with a healthy weight. Women carrying excess weight are also more likely to develop arthritis in other parts of their bodies, including hips, hands, and spines. Furthermore, carrying too much extra weight places added stress on our muscles which can lead to hair loss around the temples because it is pulling our hair follicles away from our scalps.

Therefore, it is important to have enough omega-3 fatty acids in our diet to help fight against weight gain. This can be achieved by eating a variety of fish, such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines, or herring. Red meat is also a good source of protein but should be eaten sparingly due to its saturated fat content. Other sources of protein include beans, lentils, and nut butter.

Joint Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Knee Issues


In addition to joint issues, being overweight or obese can cause a range of musculoskeletal problems. One study found that women who were overweight had an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. The most common cause for carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on a nerve in your wrist, which is often caused by too much activity with your hands or by repetitive tasks that require movement of your wrists. In addition to joint pain, individuals who are overweight are also more likely to suffer from knee problems like osteoarthritis; one study found that as many as 85 percent of people with knee osteoarthritis were overweight or obese.

As your weight increases, so does your risk of knee pain. One study found that about 40 percent of adults who were obese had knee pain, compared to only 18 percent of normal-weight adults.
Heart Issues: Obesity is linked to a number of serious health conditions including heart disease and diabetes. People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, which in turn leads to an increased risk for coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke.



Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing some cancers. Studies show that men who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, women with a BMI of 25 or higher, and postmenopausal women with a BMI of 20 or higher are at an increased risk for several types of cancer. In fact, obesity has been linked to breast cancer in both pre-and postmenopausal women; plus it’s associated with an increased risk for colorectal, pancreatic, esophageal, gastric cardia (i.e., the tissue that forms around your stomach), gallbladder, liver, and kidney cancers.

Obesity increases the risk of heart disease. Research shows that obese individuals are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people with a healthy weight. Over time, being overweight or obese can increase your risk for developing conditions such as coronary artery disease (which leads to heart attacks), peripheral vascular disease (where blood flow is restricted, leading to reduced oxygen supply in tissues), high blood pressure, stroke, or heart failure.
Obesity increases the risk of diabetes. Being overweight or obese significantly raises your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease


Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of developing dementia, which includes Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study by Swedish researchers, obese people have an 80 percent higher risk of developing dementia than their peers who are a healthy weight. The link was stronger in women than in men. It’s still unclear whether obesity directly causes dementia or if being overweight exacerbates another condition that triggers brain damage.

Research suggests that age-related memory loss may actually be brain damage, rather than a normal part of aging. The condition is called mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and it’s a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. Because obesity can accelerate brain damage, it may increase your risk of dementia. What’s more, research has linked high blood pressure to an increased risk of MCI and one study found that long-term high blood pressure increased dementia risk by 45 percent in overweight people but didn’t impact thin people at all. That suggests there may be an interaction between high blood pressure, obesity, and dementia. Both diabetes mellitus type 2 and metabolic syndrome are also strongly linked to both MCI as well as Alzheimer’s disease.


This is one reason why it’s so important to maintain a healthy weight, as being overweight can lead to a wide range of health problems, including hair loss. The bottom line is that if you’re struggling with your weight, you’re probably aware of how it affects your life. But did you know that it can also affect your hair? If you’ve got thinning or balding patches, you should be sure to talk to your doctor about any health-related causes for them. As for what lifestyle changes you might want to make in order to keep your head full of hair, keep reading!

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