Obesity and Heart Disease: What You Need to Know

obesity-on-riseObesity is a worldwide epidemic—particularly in Western countries—and weight management is a crucial weapon against this worldwide killer. But obesity isn’t dangerous just because it makes you look fat.  Obesity is dangerous because of all its health condition partners in crime.  One of its main accomplices is heart disease. 

Obesity is roughly defined as a BMI (Body Mass Index) over 30. Obesity can be the result of genetic factors, such as a thyroid disorder.  However, most commonly, it is caused by overeating, a lack of exercise, and a diet rich in sugar, trans fat, and processed foods.  If you are obese, you will have high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure both leading contributors to heart disease. Furthermore, obesity can cause sudden chest pains caused by a decrease in oxygen to the heart (angina) and it has also been known to cause sudden death from heart problems or stroke without signs or symptoms.

The relationship between obesity and heart disease discussed above shows what a serious threat the conditions pose to your health.  But the good news is that you have the ability to reduce the risk of these adverse effects.  You can take your life back into your own hands by way of developing healthier habits. Even if you are obese, changing your lifestyle to include exercise and healthy eating will decrease your chance for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol; losing just 10% of your body weight will reduce these risks and get your heart back on track.

The ball is really in your court in terms of avoiding dangerous, obesity engendered health problems. Only you have the power to shape and control your eating and exercise habits—it is up to you to choose a healthy lifestyle and then make the commitment to live it day by day. Visit a nutritionist, make a healthy eating plan, join a gym or come up with an exercise plan—all of these actions can improve your overall health and sense of well-being, steering you clear of  the health problems that impede—or cut short—your enjoyment of life.

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