According to a recent poll, many people don’t understand what being overweight does to your body. Instead, they think it’s possible for someone to be very overweight and still healthy.
However, according to the survey, which was conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, being too heavy may lead to or worsen heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, some types of cancer, arthritis, respiratory problems (such as sleep apnea and asthma), and even infertility.
Few Americans truly realize these links.
“People are often shocked to hear how far-reaching the effects of obesity are,” said Jennifer Dimitriou, a bariatric dietitian at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center.
Although doctors long have known that fat increases the risk of developing cancers of the colon, breast, prostate, and uterus, only 7 percent of Americans seemed to understand this. Also, being overweight can make it harder to spot tumors early and to treat them.