Many complications and diseases in women feature in many researches globally. However, there is less literature on obesity in women. Many scholars prefer handling obesity as a general disease affecting both sexes and all age groups. The generalization keeps of the specialization of studying the disease as a problem for women (Carroll et al, 2006; Goldenberg, 2008; Peter, 2005). However, there is an alarming increase in obesity cases on women making it a point of concern and driving the need to have a specialized study on obesity as a disease in women (Goldenberg, 2008). This paper details a research study specializing on obesity in women analyzing the available literature and data collected from various avenues using distinct methodologies including interviews and questionnaires. It later gives some of the recommendations applicable in future practice.
This research used interviews and questionnaires as the most effective methods to generate data on this topic (Creswell, 2003). Interviews involved questions to the respondents who were women on the issues of obesity as well as nursing professionals on the same matter. A similar sample handled the questionnaires to generate information on obesity in women. Random sampling was in use to determine the representative’s sample from the broad population. Over a third of the respondents chosen, were women who had experience symptoms or obesity as a disease itself. Quantitative and qualitative analysis (Creswell, 2003) was of the essence in analyzing data in the last stage of the research to represent the research findings on diabetics. The two methods were applicable bearing in mind that the data involved in the study was both qualitative and quantitative (Creswell, 2003).
Obesity in America has risen over the past two decades. Currently, 34% of American women at the age above 25 are obese (Goldenberg, 2008). With the alarming obesity increase statistics, focus of the medics places on the causes of obesity. The principal focus also extends to effects that obesity has on the health of women (Carroll et al, 2006; Goldenberg, 2008; Peter, 2005). Additionally, research on obesity finds strong links between other women complications for instance fertility problems and their relations to obesity. In addition, there are other growing researches on how obesity in women affects pregnancy as well as the complications developing in women (NIHCE, 2009; World Health Organization, 2000; Carroll et al, 2006).
According to Peter (2005), obesity is a condition medically in which excess body fat accumulates to the level that it has adverse effects on the individual health, leading to a reduction in life expectancy. Body mass index (BMI), which is a measurement that compares height and weight, defines people as being overweight (pre-obese) when their respective BMI reaches between 25 kg/m2 to 30 kg/m2 (NIHCE, 2009; World Health Organization, 2000; Carroll et al, 2006). An obese case is relatively when the BMI exceeds 30 kg/m2.
There are varying causes of obesity in women and they apply in varying degrees depending on the victim’s physiological and psychological factors. Hormonal effects are established as the key causes of obesity in women. Hormones affect almost every part of women’s lives and compared to men there are regular imbalances of hormones in women than in men. This fact develops higher chances of women developing to be obese than men. In the application and causing obesity in women, the hormonal imbalances are a substantial contributor to fluid retention (Carroll et al, 2006; Goldenberg, 2008; Peter, 2005). Excessive imbalances cause high rates of fluid retention that poses as a danger to the health of a woman. Middle-aged women who are in a stage of approaching menopause have a higher likelihood of carrying the excess fluid therefore; they are at a higher risk of developing diabetic related complications. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reports in 2005 indicated that obesity has a high risk of developing diabetic conditions in women (Peter, 2005). This was in support of the Korean Society Study of Obesity (KSSO) proposals in the same year ethically defining the condition as abdominal obesity.
The levels of Human growth hormone (HGH) decrease in obese individuals, which is why the diabetic complications develop faster in such women. The HGH is the responsible element in the human body to burn calories and leave less calories in the body therefore, preventing the conversion into fats that develops into obese symptoms (Carroll et al, 2006). Additionally, the estrogen hormone helps in determining body fat distribution in women, which is why women approaching menopause have a higher probability of developing obese complications owing to reduced levels of estrogen (NIHCE, 2009; World Health Organization, 2000; Carroll et al, 2006). Scientific studies report that younger women having high estrogen levels carry excess weight mostly around the bottom, thighs and hips developing into a pear shaped figure. The case is different in women approaching menopause or postmenopausal women having lower estrogen levels because they tend to develop increased percentages of abdominal fat therefore, resulting into apple shaped figure, commonly the obese kind of figure.
From the arguments by Carroll et al (2006), obesity in women has severe effects on women especially on their fertility. A strong link exists between obese symptoms and complications resulting to infertility. Some of the most common features in women with obese complications include decreased ovulation, decreased pregnancy rates and a lowered response to fertility treatment in women (NIHCE, 2009; World Health Organization, 2000; Carroll et al, 2006). Obesity in women on the other hand, increases the risk of women developing complications during pregnancy for instance C-section, birth defects (neural tube defects (NTD), and gestational diabetes. There are also medical arguments that obese women have a higher risk of developing post-pregnancy complications including urinary tact infections and other developing wounds that usually take a long duration to heal (World Health Organization, 2000).
A recent research clarifies that there is a substantial relationship of breast cancer and obesity. The Nurses Health Study conducting investigations on 95,256 nurses, of age 30 to 55, for a period of16 years, reported that weight gain was evident after the age of 18 and it had a strong correlation to breast cancer especially in the incidence of menopause (Carroll et al, 2006; Goldenberg, 2008; Peter, 2005). Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women is a common endocrine disorder developing in obese victims. The complication is a severe case that affects at least 5%-10% of women’s reproductive age ranging from 12-45 years (NIHCE, 2009; World Health Organization, 2000; Carroll et al, 2006). The symptoms as well as the severity of this complication features in varying levels in women. Some of the vital components making the disease more severe include insulin resistance, diabetes, and other complications developing out of obesity extremes.