There is a strong relationship between heart health and weight. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can significantly decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease. Captain Miller, can you tell us about achieving a healthy weight?
Sure thing, Dr. Phillips. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Excess weight is a major risk factor for other forms of heart disease, such as hypertension and dyslipidemia, which are themselves risk factors for coronary artery disease. The good news is that losing just five to 10 pounds can have a tremendous positive impact on heart health.
The body mass index, or BMI, is a measurement used to determine if someone is overweight or obese. BMI relates weight to height. It gives an approximation of total body fat, which is what increases the risk of obesity-related diseases. Normal BMI is less than 25.
Weight loss can be a difficult and daunting task. It's a slow process involving changes in both diet and activity level. People who cannot reduce their BMI to below 25 should still try to lose at least 10 pounds.