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Journal of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes of South Africa

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Obesity in women – a life cycle of medical risk

M.T van der Merwe

Abstract


Obesity can have an impact on health at each stage of a woman’s life cycle. In young women, obesity has an impact on psychosocial health
and, as they grow older, on their reproductive health. Obesity also imposes a number of serious risks during pregnancy. In older women, obesity is associated with the emergence of a number of related chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and an increased risk for many cancers. Of concern in the elderly is the increasing evidence that obesity is an independent risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Obesity also has a marked impact on life expectancy. The medical risks associated with obesity in women are important for the woman’s future generations. There is emerging evidence that nutrition during fetal and early life can influence risk for obesity and chronic diseases.

Keywords: obesity; women; CV risk; infertility; diabetes




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