Learn the Link: Obesity and Heart Health

SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- While many Americans may be thinking about purchasing chocolates and flowers for a loved one in February, the prevalence of obesity among adults worldwide continues to rise and can pose risk factors for heart health. To help combat this ongoing problem, The Obesity Society (TOS) is recognizing American Heart Month.

The Obesity Society Logo. (PRNewsFoto/The Obesity Society) (PRNewsfoto/The Obesity Society)

The proportion of adults across the globe who were overweight or obese from 1980–2013 increased from 28.8 percent to 36.9 percent among males and from 29.8 percent to 38.0 percent among females, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

"Obesity is a serious risk factor in regards to heart health," said TOS President Steven B. Heymsfield, MD, FTOS, professor and director of the Metabolism and Body Composition Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. "It's critical that we collaborate with the American Heart Association to increase awareness of this important connection to help individuals manage their weight and live a healthy lifestyle."

Jamy D. Ard, MD, FTOS, member of TOS Council, professor of epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine and co-director of the Weight Management Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, NC, explained that "small amounts of weight loss can have dramatic impacts on risk factors that determine how healthy your heart is. If you are overweight at 200 pounds, losing 10–20 pounds can improve blood pressure, blood glucose readings, cholesterol levels and other factors that can negatively affect your heart."

"The link between obesity and heart health is multi-faceted," said AHA Chief Medical Officer for Prevention Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, FAAFP. "Obesity can contribute to elevated blood pressure and diabetes, and can lead to enlargement and compromised functioning of the heart. We encourage all individuals to get more physical activity and eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables to improve cardiovascular health and help improve heart disease. We encourage persons with obesity to connect with their doctors to address their heart health."

TOS is planning activities and will provide resources for its staff, members and the public to help promote American Heart Month.

On Feb. 1, TOS staff will participate in National Wear Red Day®, an annual event to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and help save lives.

TOS will provide free access to select research articles discussing the connection between obesity and heart health from its official journal Obesity.  The Society's social media channels will feature posts and tweets throughout the month of February to help raise awareness and educate the public.

Ard suggests finding a weight management specialist or team that can develop a treatment plan to optimize results for those individuals who are looking to enhance their heart health by improving their weight management. "A specialized provider or team can give you access to tools and specialized treatment plans that can improve your chances for long-term success and a healthy heart."

To learn more about American Heart Month, visit the websites of the AHA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services healthfinder.

The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading organization of scientists and health professionals devoted to understanding and reversing the epidemic of obesity and its adverse health, economic and societal effects. Combining the perspective of physicians and other clinicians, scientists, policymakers and patients, TOS promotes innovative research, education, and evidence-based clinical care to improve the health and well-being of all people with obesity. For more information, visit www.obesity.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Kristin D. Collins
Director of Communications
The Obesity Society


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SOURCE The Obesity Society

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