Obesity and Heart Disease: Take Action for a Healthier Heart

Feb 23, 2016

Heart Health Tips

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 610,000 people die of heart disease each year in America. That accounts for about one in every four deaths, making this the leading killer of men and women alike. Obesity is one of the leading causes of this condition, and with an estimated third of the adult population considered overweight, concerns have reached epidemic proportions. Fortunately, taking action to lose weight can dramatically improve heart health.

Obesity impacts the heart and the circulatory system in a number of adverse ways. First, when a person is considered overweight, it is likely that blood pressure is also high. The simple reality is the more a person weighs, the harder the heart has to work to provide oxygen rich blood to the body. Also, obesity tends to be linked to high cholesterol levels and the formation of plaque in the arteries. When this occurs, the heart has to work even harder to distribute blood within a network of veins and arteries that essentially throw up road blocks along the way.

Losing weight simply takes some of the burdens off the heart while enabling it to do its job more effectively. In addition, activities associated with weight loss, such as exercise help strengthen the heart while contributing to weight loss.

If obesity is a concern and it’s time to get control of your heart health, these measures may help:

  • Adopting a healthy diet If necessary, work with a dietician to establish a heart healthy eating plan. Smaller, well-balanced meals and snacks can fuel the body properly without contributing to weight gain.
  • Taking medication Medical intervention is sometimes necessary to assist in weight loss. If diet and exercise alone aren’t working, a physician might be able to offer help in the form of medications that curb and control the appetite.
  • Exercise This is a factor that should go into any heart healthy weight loss plan. Cardiovascular exercise promotes both weight loss and heart health. Regular moderate sessions can make a real difference.
  • Surgery Bariatric surgery designed to promote weight loss has proven itself extremely beneficial for those who battle obesity. People with obesity-related conditions may find they are eligible for surgical intervention if their body mass index is 35 or higher. For those who are otherwise healthy, a BMI of 40 or above may signal it is time to consider this weight loss option.

Losing weight is a critical component in promoting heart health for those who are considered obese. The best bet is to work closely with a doctor to devise a plan that helps the weight come off while promoting a stronger, healthier heart in the process.

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  • Heart Health Tips

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