Can Obesity be a Factor in Poor Vision Health?

In recent years, obesity has been a huge problem for many developed nations. As the years go by, obesity rates seem to keep climbing, as well as the amount of certain diseases, such as heart disease. While it is clear there are obesity issues in many parts of the world, did you know that being obese can also negatively affect your vision?

Can Obesity Really Affect Ocular Health?

Can Obesity be a Factor in Poor Vision HealthObesity affects all types of people including children and the elderly. With excess weight being such a widespread problem – over one million people in the world are considered obese – it would be logical to assume most of the negative health effects would be known by now. However, while we know clearly how obesity affects other bodily systems, not much is known about how this condition affects the eyes.

Although there is not a lot of evidence to support the theory, some researchers say obesity is linked to eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.

How Can Obesity Damage Eyes?

By carrying extra weight, you can put too much pressure on the blood vessels located in your eyes. Since these vessels are really delicate, they can be damaged very easily, causing poor vision. The higher your BMI (body mass index) is, the more likely you are to develop some of the eye diseases associated with obesity.

Cataracts, in particular, are related to your nutrition and your environment. Since those who are obese do not get good nutrition, their eyes suffer. There are several vitamins that are really important to ocular health, such as Vitamin A and Omega-3s. Those who do not stay at a healthy weight are probably lacking these nutrients anyway, so their risk of eye problems is even higher.

Will Obesity Lead to Blindness?

The link between obesity and eye disease needs to be more thoroughly examined, so no one can say for sure that obese people are more likely to go blind. However, in a study conducted in Israel, researchers noticed a clear link between the level of obesity and the level of eye disease in patients. The eye diseases examined were those that often lead to blindness. So, one can conclude that it is likely obesity leads to blindness – or extremely poor vision – in many individuals.

Another risk to the vision of those who are obese is that eye diseases seem to progress more quickly in those who are overweight. Since being obese speeds up the process of losing one’s eyesight, this is a powerful motivator for losing weight.

The study conducted in Israel noted that although there is some research out there that illustrates the link between obesity and poor vision, it is not well-known to the public because there has been little attention given to this area. Even so, it is important to study the relationship between declining vision and weight gain and to publish the results so that everyone can know their own risks.

What Can I Do to Protect My Eyes?

If you are obese, there is a higher level of concern when it comes to health problems such as heart disease, but you should also be aware of the potential effects your condition can have on your eyes. Taking steps to get healthy and lose weight will help support your eye health, and you will be less likely to suffer from eye diseases that are related to obesity. This is probably the best solution for you, as it will help prevent both eye and cardiovascular diseases.

However, protecting your eyes is not as simple as losing weight. You need to get healthy, which means eating a good diet of adequate nutrients. You should especially focus on nutrients that are beneficial to eyesight.

Eat fish for Omega-3s and take supplements for vitamins you do not normally get. Better yet, change your diet to reflect better eating habits so that you get all of your nutrients naturally.

There are also extra steps you can take to protect your eyesight. First, read our list of the 17 vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements we recommend for good vision. Taking these extra supplements can give you an added boost to the health of your eyes. By getting healthy, eating right, and taking the right supplements, you can prevent the poor vision brought on by obesity.


About Orlin Sorensen

My vision started to get blurry as a young teenager. Soon I was wearing glasses for just about everything. This was a hard blow for me because I had always dreamed of becoming a U.S. Navy fighter pilot which required perfect vision without glasses or surgery. But I wasn't ready to give up on my dreams, so I looked into every possible alternative which led me to eye exercises. Through daily vision training and eye exercises, I improved my vision from 20/85 to 20/20 and passed the Navy's visual acuity test. In fact Men's Health declared this one of the "Greatest Comebacks of All Time!" Now, I'm sharing exactly how I did it with the program that helped me so people like you can improve your vision safely and naturally, without glasses, contacts or laser surgery.

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3 comments to Can Obesity be a Factor in Poor Vision Health?
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  1. Aaron #

    Personally I am a little overweight and this article really motivates me and makes me realize the dangers of being obese. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Jess #

    Who decides what “extra weight” is?
    Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and what’s a healthy size for one person might be bigger or smaller than what’s healthiest for some one else.
    Body size isn’t a reliable indicator of healthiness (I’ve known thin people who ate anything and stayed that size, and fat people who exercised and paid attention to what they ate, and stayed that size as well), and the assumption in this article that
    “Those who do not stay at a healthy weight are probably lacking these nutrients [Vitamin A and Omega-3s] anyway” is pure conjecture and I wonder why it seemed appropriate to include it in an article that is ostensibly trying to come across as reliable.

    You say yourself that “there is not a lot of evidence to support the theory” and this article mostly says “there may be a link,” but correlation does not equal causation. Even if obese individuals ARE found to be more likely to have eye problems, that doesn’t mean obesity caused those problems, especially since there could be a number of other factors statistically related to body size (like class status, or size bias in the medical community) that also affect eye health.
    It may be in vogue to blame society’s ills on obesity, but that doesn’t make it right or true, and I think it’s unfair and misleading to add more stigma to how our society approaches body size.

  3. Lindsay #

    I ‘m pretty sure when Orlin was talking about being overweight he was referring to, high percentage body fat, excess cholesterol etc.

    I know for a fact diabetes causes vision problems, and diabetes particularly type 2 is caused from bad diet and goes hand in hand with obesity!

    If you think about it, a body fuelled by a healthy diet, with regular exercise is going to freely pump vitamin rich oxygenated blood around your body and your eyes!

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