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Obesity and Heart Health

Table of Contents

A heart disease related death occurs approximately every minute making it the leading cause of preventable death in the United States today. Obesity and inactivity are significant contributing factors to developing heart disease so losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are effective methods for reducing your heart disease risk.

Risk factors associated with heart disease include:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Poor nutrition
  • Excessive alcohol intake

Many of these risk factors are associated with obesity and the lifestyle of someone who is obese.

Heart Disorders Associated with Obesity

  • Heart attack. When the heart muscles are starved of oxygen due to narrowed or hardened artery walls or blood clots, a heart attack can occur. Your artery walls are likely to harden due to high blood pressure and clots could develop due to plaque buildup form high cholesterol levels. Both conditions are triggered by excessive weight and fat deposits.
  • Coronary artery disease. This is a result of plaque buildup in your coronary arteries. This buildup causes the arteries to become narrowed, restricting blood flow to the heart. Those who are obese tend to have higher cholesterol levels, leading to plaque buildup.
  • Heart failure. This is when the heart is severely weakened due to heart attack, coronary artery disease or other conditions that overwork the heart. When you are overweight, your heart has to work harder than that of someone who is average weight to properly pump blood throughout your body.
  • Arrhythmias. Abnormal heart rhythms. Electrical conduction complications within the heart can occur more frequently when the heart is damaged by coronary artery disease or other cardiac disorders.
  • Vascular disease. Vascular diseases like peripheral artery disease or aneurysms (widening or ballooning of an artery) can occur due to high blood pressure and the hardening of the arteries outside of the heart.

Preventing and Treating Heart Disease

If you are struggling with obesity or any obesity-related disorders, it is important that you lose weight and focus on long-term lifestyle changes. Creating health goals designed to modify your diet, exercise behaviors and reducing avoidable risk factors like smoking or excessive drinking will be beneficial to heart health.

Losing weight isn’t necessarily a simple task, especially if you have struggled with your weight for an extended amount of time. There are many effective options for weight loss available such as bariatric surgery. Weight loss surgery will limit the size of your stomach so that you are only able to consume a limited amount of food. This will promote weight loss and motivate you to adopt healthier habits. Bariatric procedures have been proven to lower your chances of developing harmful disorders, and have also been shown to resolve conditions that could lead to heart disease. Weight loss not only lowers your chances of developing heart disease, but can also help reduce the effects of any existing conditions and lead you towards a happier, healthier lifestyle