According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in six Americans are obese, a statistic which has tripled since 1980. The statistics regarding obesity in children are equally abysmal. Read more about how sleep apnea is tied to obesity in children.
The reasons for the increase in obesity are many. We eat larger portions of food than ever before. We eat foods that are higher in sugar, fat, and calories. Healthy foods and whole foods are often harder to get and more expensive. We lead much more sedentary lifestyles than ever before. When our caloric intake rises and the expenditure of calories decrease, the result is weight gain.
Not only can obesity contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, some types of cancers, and even depression, but it can also lead to sleep apnea. Conversely, sleep apnea can lead to obesity.
Untreated sleep apnea may lead to obesity and weight gain. The hormones responsible for appetite and hunger, leptin and ghrelin, are adversely affected by this disorder which leads to increased carbohydrate cravings and weight gain. Obese patients often have other medical issues which can further complicate the problem.