What’s Weighing Heavy on Your Heart? How Weight Impacts Your Heart Health
Obesity in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate and is a primary cause of our country’s current health crisis. More than 40% of Americans are now obese, rising from 23% in 1990. Many times the terms “overweight” and “obese” seem interchangeable. However, the CDC has specific definitions for each depending on a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI):
- Overweight = BMI of 25.0 to < 30
- Obese = BMI of 30.0 or higher
About three out of four adults in America are presently overweight, and the trend is only expected to increase. Obesity promotes buildup of cholesterol in your arteries, leading to heart attacks and strokes. It also gives way to high blood pressure, sleep apnea, depression, poor physical health and diabetes. As a heart doctor, the majority of diseases that I treat every day are partially due to obesity.
3 Steps to a Healthy Weight and Happy Heart
- Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI): Use this BMI Calculator. It’s a quick and easy way to assess if your weight could cause health issues. It assesses your weight-to-height ratio. A healthy BMI is less than 25.
- Measure your waist circumference: This is measured just above your hip bones after exhaling. A waist circumference measuring over 35 inches for women or over 40 inches for men places a person at a higher risk for developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Increase exercise and reduce calorie intake: Increasing exercise and reducing calorie intake are great ways to lose weight. In general, we recommend the Mediterranean Diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans. It includes fish, poultry and dairy products with only limited red meat. This diet is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, strokes and several cancers.
Losing weight can be difficult for many. If you find yourself in need of a healthy change and are discouraged by the lack of results you’re seeing, know that you’re not alone. Bryan Health is here to support you along your journey.
Resources Available to Take Control of Your Weight
Bryan Health offers a multitude of resources and support when it comes to weight loss. Our team of professionals will provide education and lifestyle changes to embrace healthy eating habits, increase activity and promote positive behavior patterns you can live with for the rest of your life. We’re here to assist you in exploring which weight loss option is right for you.
Online Risk Assessment
A great first step towards a healthy weight is to take Bryan’s free WeightAware Risk Assessment. This assessment will only take seven minutes to complete, and at the end, you will receive personalized, confidential information that will help you:
- Learn your current health status
- Assess and identify your potential risk for conditions impacted by weight
- Identify medical and lifestyle factors to reduce your risk of developing certain health conditions
- Take action to reduce your level of risk through the many services available at Bryan Health
Bryan Bariatric Services
Bryan Health offers weight loss surgery, along with the education and support for your success. Call us at 402-481-5454 to schedule a consultation today.
Bryan LifePointe offers many services to help you on your weight loss journey. Wellness Revolution, our newest program, provides exercise, nutrition and health coaching for your overall success. Learn more at Wellness Revolution by calling 402-481-6300.
Joseph Kummer, MD, FACC
Bryan Heart Cardiologist
Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Dr. Joseph Kummer attended Creighton Prep High School and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. After subsequent training in Chicago and Detroit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Henry Ford Hospital, Kummer became a diagnostic cardiologist at Bryan Heart. He specializes in heart catheterizations to find blockages in arteries and cardiovascular clinical work like treating hospital patients for rhythm disorders, heart failure, chest pain, and more. Kummer finds his work deeply rewarding because he can help people resolve their problems with the best quality cardiology care in Nebraska.