Everyone, regardless of age or gender, should take their weight seriously. That’s because your weight can have a long-lasting impact on your overall health and your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. While there are many reasons and contributing factors that can lead to a person being overweight, it’s important to recognize the clear link between obesity and heart disease, among other health conditions. Obesity is a growing problem in the United States along with many other nations around the world, in which fast food, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of physical activity can prove dangerous. In fact, the most recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that almost 40% of Americans is obese, if not more. This goes to show how significant the situation is with obesity becoming more and more prevalent as the years go by.
Obesity and being overweight are linked to several factors that increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, such as coronary artery disease and stroke. These factors include high blood lipids, particularly high triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol, and low HDL cholesterol; high blood pressure or hypertension; impaired glucose tolerance or type-2 (also called adult onset) diabetes; metabolic syndrome; and left ventricular hypertrophy, or an enlarged left ventricle that increases the risk for heart failure.
That’s not all; being overweight or obese is also linked to some forms of cancer, gallbladder disease, and osteoarthritis. To determine your risk factors based on your weight, cardiology specialists in in Suffolk County, NY, may consider your BMI and your waist circumference.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The BMI is a mathematical formula that determines whether your height and weight fall into underweight, healthy/normal, overweight, or obese categories. By using these factors to determine whether a person is obese, cardiology specialists can identify how at risk you are for certain cardiovascular health problems. It’s important to keep in mind that BMI measurements may be less accurate for dedicated athletes or senior citizens who have lost muscle mass.
Your BMI will fall within one of these four ranges:
- Underweight: Below 18.5
- Normal: 18.5-24.9
- Overweight: 25.0-29.9
- Obese: 30.0 and above.
If you fall into the overweight or obese category, and you have two or more risk factors, you should consult your local cardiology clinic to identify ways in which you could lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. This way, you can decrease your risk for heart disease and improve your overall health. Even a small decrease in your weight can make a huge difference to your heart health, so weight management strategies are fantastic. Whether that be physical fitness, a healthier diet or both, taking these steps can ensure a brighter and better future for you and your heart.
Those who specialize in cardiology services also may examine your waist circumference. This is the measurement of your waist, just above your navel, and it’s a reliable predictor of abdominal fat. This is a risk factor for heart disease, which increases with waist measurements upwards of 40 inches for males and 35 inches and over in females. Once you know your waist circumference, you can establish an achievable plan to decrease your weight and improve your cardiac health.
If you want to put your healthy and your heart first and make smart decisions regarding your weight, rest assured that you can get the help and guidance you need and deserve by reaching out to Peconic Bay Medical Center today!