Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease. The reason this is so concerning is that the number of people with obesity in the U.S. continues to rise. We're also just starting to learn more about how obesity in young adults can cause early heart damage that leads to life-threatening conditions later in life.
Here, I’d like to answer common questions we receive about obesity, and how it affects your heart. I will also share some advice I give to people who are struggling with obesity about how they can treat their condition successfully to live a healthier life.
- What is obesity?
- How do I find out if I'm obese?
- How does obesity affect your heart?
- What factors are linked to an increased risk for heart disease other than obesity?
- Are individuals who are obese at a younger age more at risk for heart disease?
- Does obesity affect lifespan?
- How can someone who is obese work toward lowering their chance of developing heart disease?
What is obesity?
People tend to associate obesity with being significantly overweight, but it is actually a much more complex condition.
As medical professionals, we understand that obesity is a chronic condition where an increase in body fat leads to problems in the way the body stores and uses energy. It also leads to serious health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.
And obesity is not just caused by overeating. A lot goes into it, including genetics, environment and behavior. It’s a condition that’s difficult to overcome on your own.