August 2014

Obesity & Heart Disease

Obesity and the Risk of Heart Disease

Many studies suggest that obesity is a key factor in the developing heart disease and, specifically, heart attack. Obesity has an aggravating effect on atherosclerosis. This is especially true when the body fat distribution is located in the middle of the body, the gut and love handles.

While obesity may have some genetic factors associated with it, in many cases it could be either prevented or reversed with a little effort. Often obesity begins in childhood and frequently is correlated with dietary factors such as poor eating habits, high sugar intake (excessive candy, cakes, soft drinks, overeating, excessive carbohydrates, refined and processed foods), and high fat diet (red meats, processed and refined foods, fast foods). There are other factors involved such as insufficient exercise (we will discuss this again later in greater detail), stress (many people tend to change dietary habits eat more high fat foods, high sugar foods, refined and processed foods when under stress), family history (an obese person may learn to be obese from birth as one or more of his parents, or siblings are obese and it is considered by them that they too will be obese, also these family members act as models suggesting that obesity is okay*). Obesity may be a form of rebellion where in a child uses food, or becomes obese to irritate or control a parent.

Obesity itself generally is not considered to be an independent factor, it must be associated with elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes to represent a major risk factor. When overweight people have an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, they generally also have decreased levels of HDL-Cholesterol and increased levels of LDL-Cholesterol. As body weight is lost, HDL levels increase and LDL levels tend to fall, hence reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

*There is no intention on the part of the authors to suggest that one should be judged on his or her body weight or that "obesity" is somehow wrong. Rather we are looking at the way overweight people often see themselves in the eyes of the society and we are looking at the increased health risks that are often suggested to be related to obesity.

As practitioners versed in mind, body, spirit medicine we recognize that suggestion and stereotyping can play a significant role in the creation of illness. We have no need to tell anyone to change simply because society doesn't like or agree with something, yet if any characteristic confers an increased risk to the individual, that individual should know it and consider its consequences. If it can be changed, then it should be. If it cannot be changed, then it should not be made into an issue.

If your weight is an issue to you because of the risk of heart disease, diabetes or physical, mental or emotional discomfort, you may wish to look at our Metamorphosis Weight Loss program for fast easy and safe weight loss.

 

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