Cardiac Care Group, LLC: Obesity

People with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher are considered obese. The term “obesity” is used to describe the health condition of anyone significantly above his or her ideal healthy weight. Don’t be discouraged by the term. It simply means you are 20% or more above your ideal weight, and you are not alone. 

Nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese. Being obese puts you at a higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.

Being obese can:

  • raise blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • lower "good" HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is linked with lower heart disease and stroke risk, so low LDL tends to raise the risk.
  • increase blood pressure.
  • induce diabetes. In some people, diabetes makes other risk factors much worse. The danger of heart attack is especially high for these people.

Obesity increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. But it harms more than just the heart and blood vessel system. It's also a major cause of gallstones, osteoarthritis and respiratory problems.