8 Parts of Your Body Most Affected by Weight Gain

Click away, couch potatoes, procreators, and gym rats! There are consequences for your actions. Weight gain can be the result of many activities — pumping iron, overeating, or having sex. And it’s a good chance at least one of these applies to you, as more than half of American adults are considered overweight. Even positive weight gain affects your body, inside, outside, and top to bottom. Knowing the anatomical what and why is always a benefit, and we’ve got ‘em right here. The following are the seven parts of your body most affected by weight gain.

  1. Brain

    For a host of reasons, weight gain can affect the brain. Overweight people are more likely to suffer from depression, and weight gain can produce changes in brain volume that affect quality of life. The obese are also at a significantly higher risk for strokes.

  2. Heart

    Packing on the pounds also packs on the risk of heart disease. And there’s a good chance you are: the American Heart Association reports that between 60% and 70% of American adults are overweight, and almost 32% of children. High cholesterol, often a sister condition of obesity, also increases risk of heart attack.

  3. Joints

    Weight gain increases pressure on your joints. Rapid weight gain can put abnormal stress on the knee, for example, and arthritis and osteoporosis can be more common in the obese. Overweight people are also more likely to be sedentary, reducing their likelihood of proper flexibility.

  4. Pancreas

    A sudden weight gain might be a sign of diabetes, a metabolic disease that affects insulin response and regulation through the pancreas. Other symptoms of diabetes include blurred vision, numbness in extremities, and slowly healing flesh wounds.

  5. Blood Stream

    Commonly comorbid with obesity is a host of issues related to blood: high blood pressure, high triglyceride level, and clogged arteries among them. The heart must work harder to keep the inflated body alive. Make sure your blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol levels are all in the healthy range for optimum longevity.

  6. Skin

    Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and everyone gets stretch marks. You’re not alone in your woes, but the marks that come with your skin stretching to accommodate excess weight can be a depressing visual reminder of weight gain, whether associated with inactivity or pregnancy. If you’ve been sedentary or overeating, let the marks be the first and last sign of unhealthy choices.

  7. Reproductive System

    If you’ve gained weight due to steroids use, it probably hasn’t been in your crotch. Lay off the juice, people. Use of anabolic steroids to foster rapid muscle growth can lead to atrophy of the testicles in men and shrinking of the breasts in women. Weight gain from steroid use also stresses the heart.

  8. Liver

    Rapid weight gain can also affect the liver. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a severe medical problem with few unique symptoms. The overweight and obese should watch for swelling of the legs (called edema) and stomach, as well as confusion and esophageal bleeding. The liver, as do many organs and body parts, responds well to weight reduction of even 10%. Every little bit counts!