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Obesity Has Negative Effect on Heart Health

There have been a few studies published recently that have suggested it’s possible to be both overweight and not at a higher risk for heart disease. A recent review of several studies has found, however, that obese people have an increased risk of developing heart disease even if they have no other metabolic syndrome risk factors.

Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterized by obesity, high blood pressure, extra body fat at the waistline, high blood sugar, and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol. People with metabolic syndrome are at significantly higher risk of cardiovascular issues than those who are metabolically healthy.

For this study, the researchers examined data from 60,000 people who participated in eight studies in total. When they controlled for studies with ten years or more of follow-up, they found that metabolically healthy obese individuals were at higher risk for cardiovascular events compared to metabolically healthy non-obese individuals.

Additionally, the researchers found that people with metabolic syndrome were at a similar increased risk of a cardiovascular event regardless of their weight.

Researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto conducted the study. It was published on December 3, 2013, in JAMA’s Annals of Internal Medicine.

Obesity has a far ranging negative effect on health. Each year, obesity causes approximately 300,000 premature deaths in the United States. The negative health effects associated with obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea.

Improving eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity. It is recommended that we eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It also recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity every day.

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