Obesity May Increase the Risk of Acid Reflux
According to along term study done in Norway the incidence of acid reflux has increased by 50% in the last ten years (1). The study authors showed that the use of anti-reflux medication as well as pregnancy did not account for these new numbers. It was proposed that the increase in obesity may be to blame for these new numbers.
If you have acid reflux and are overweight or obese you may find significant improvement or completely eliminate your acid reflux by reaching a healthy weight. When you are overweight or obese the excess body fat, especially abdominal girth, puts added pressure on both the stomach and LES. This in turn causes more acid reflux episodes.
Most people may disregard acid reflux as "no big deal" but over time the disease can cause significant pain as well as some serious damage to the esophagus. Many fear that this increase in incidence will also increase the incidence of esophageal cancers, which are notoriously hard to treat.
Not everyone with acid reflux is obese and not everyone who is obese will end up with acid reflux. That having been said if you fall in to this category talk with your doctor about how to properly treat your acid reflux and how to reach and maintain a healthy weight.