How Obesity Impacts Heart Disease
According to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. There are many factors that cause heart disease, and certain behaviors and lifestyle habits can increase the risk of developing heart disease. The CDC explains that obesity, which is excessive body fat, increases the risk of heart disease because it can contribute to higher cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
Obesity is often linked to poor dietary choices which include diets high in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. Additionally, the CDC states that physical inactivity is also a leading cause of obesity and has a direct correlation to the development of heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, implementing a healthier lifestyle which includes diet, nutrition and exercise, can be extremely effective in reducing the risk of heart disease.
The AHA acknowledges that obesity can initially stem from genetic factors, and it is not always simple to treat an obese patient; however, their research shows that even a small amount of weight reduction has a dramatic effect on lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of developing heart disease.
The CDC also advises eating a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol and high in fiber will have a positive impact on the overall health of your heart.
The CDC also recommends you keep your existing medical conditions in check in order to prevent the risk of a heart attack or stroke. For example:
- Have your cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years.
- Check your blood pressure on a regular basis.
- If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis.
- If you are being treated for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes it is essential to take the prescribed medication.