Major Risk Factors: Being Overweight
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute lists Being Overweight as one of the major risk factors for heart disease.
A healthy weight is important for a long, vigorous life. About 62 percent of all American women age 20 and older are overweight—about 33 percent of them are obese (extremely overweight). The more overweight a woman is, the higher her risk for heart disease.
Our national waistline is expanding for two simple reasons – we are eating more and moving less. Today, Americans consume about 200 to 300 more calories per day than they did in the1970s. Moreover, as we spend more time in front of computers, video games, TV, and other electronic pastimes, we have fewer hours available for physical activity. If you are overweight, you are more likely to develop heart disease even if you have no other risk factors.
Each year, an estimated 300,000 U.S. adults die of diseases related to obesity. The bottom line is that maintaining a healthy weight is an extremely important part of heart disease prevention
A small weight loss – just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight – will help to lower your risks of heart disease and other serious medical disorders. The best way to take off pounds is to do so gradually, by getting more physical activity and following a heart healthy eating plan that is lower in calories and fat.