You may think that it’s not a big deal if you’re carrying a bit of excess weight. Here are the reasons why you should take extra pounds very seriously.

If you’re like 41% of other Americans, you’re probably carrying around more weight than is healthy for you. It can be easy to downplay the significance of this, especially since the percentage of severely obese people has doubled in the past 20 years. 

Carrying the marker of severe obesity is a concern. About 25% of people with obesity fall into this category of severe obesity (formerly known as “morbid obesity.”) It means that your body fat accounts for more than 40% of your weight.

This means your body is carrying so much extra weight that it’s threatening your life. You’re at significantly higher risk of premature death from causes such as heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. Dr. Daniel Rieders of Peninsula Integrative Cardiology explains more about these possible risks and what you can do about them.

Why the excess weight is so deadly

Carrying around extra pounds affects much more than how well you fit into clothes and airplane seats. It presents significant risks to your health, including some of the following:


  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain types of cancer, including of the breast, colon, rectum, pancreas, uterus, ovary, gallbladder, esophagus, liver, cervix, endometrium, prostate, and kidney
  • Sleep apnea
  • Digestive issues, such as heartburn, liver problems, and gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (commonly known as simply “arthritis,” as opposed to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Fatty liver disease, excessive amounts of fat deposits in your liver that can lead to conditions like cirrhosis
  • More severe complications of Covid-19

The concerns about extra weight need utmost consideration.

What you can do to lose weight

Chances are good that you’ve already tried several ways to lose weight, most of which have been unsuccessful. This discouraging result doesn’t mean you should give up; you just need a different approach.

That’s where Dr. Rieders comes in. He looks at your whole body and how it functions holistically. Weight loss isn’t just a strict matter of calories in and calories out. Consider your mental health, spiritual health, and lifestyle support.

Your mental and emotional health must be taken into consideration when planning to make a lasting lifestyle change to help you lose the weight — and keep it off. Some of the additional factors that can contribute to or co-exist with extra weight include the following:


Even certain medications you can take, including antidepressants, can contribute to your weight gain or make it harder for you to lose weight. 

Depression in general

Many people who are overweight are also depressed. In some cases, it’s hard to know which condition came first, as simply being overweight can negatively impact how you relate to the world. Sometimes, you may need counseling in addition to other medical treatments.

Lower quality of life

Having too much weight can lead to negative effects on your overall quality of life. Many people with obesity struggle with isolation and discrimination. This discriminatory behavior can affect you at work, the quality of health care you receive, and your self-esteem. 

If you carry too much weight, there’s no better time to do something about it than now. Contact Dr. Daniel Rieders today for an appointment in his Palo Alto office or schedule a telehealth appointment from the privacy of your own home.


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