• Health risks of weight loss

    A 1-kg loss of body weight has been associated with an approximate 1-mm Hg drop in blood pressure.

    Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health, or physical fitness, refers to a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and/or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon, and other connective tissue. Weight loss can either occur unintentionally due to malnourishment or an underlying disease or arise from a conscious effort to improve an actual or perceived overweight or obese state. “Unexplained” weight loss that is not caused by reduction in calorific intake or exercise is called cachexia and may be a symptom of a serious medical condition. Intentional weight loss is commonly referred to as slimming.

    Serious weight loss may reduce quality of life, impair treatment effectiveness or recovery, worsen disease processes and be a risk factor for high mortality rates.

    Malnutrition can affect every function of the human body, from the cells to the most complex body functions, including:

    • immune response
    • wound healing
    • muscle strength (including respiratory muscles)
    • renal capacity and depletion leading to water and electrolyte disturbances
    • thermoregulation

    In addition, malnutrition can lead to vitamin and other deficiencies and to inactivity, which in turn may pre-dispose to other problems, such as pressure sores.

    Source: Harsha, D. W.; Bray, G. A. (2008). “Weight Loss and Blood Pressure Control (Pro)”. Hypertension, National Collaborating Centre for Acute Care (UK) (February 2006)., Yaxley, A; Miller, MD; Fraser, RJ; Cobiac, L (February 2012)., National Cancer Institute (November 2011)., Wikipedia

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