How is Excess Body Weight Related to Cardiovascular Disease?
According to the American Heart Association, weight gain is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. This means that excessive body weight alone (without other risk factors) can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. For this reason, maintaining a healthy body weight is a high priority. The two major American Heart Association guidelines for maintaining a healthy body weight are:
- Match intake of energy (calories) to overall energy needs; limit consumption of foods with a high caloric density and/or low nutritional quality, including those with a high content of sugars.
- Maintain a level of physical activity that achieves fitness and balances energy expenditure with energy intake. For weight reduction, expenditure should exceed intake.
Sample Menus for Reducing Caloric Intake
|Menu 1: Higher Calorie||Menu 2: Lower Calorie|
Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is a numerical value used by health care providers to determine if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. These weight categories (underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese) are used to estimate a person’s overall risk for developing chronic diseases.
A body mass index calculator is available on the Center for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/calc-bmi.htm
Visit this website to learn your BMI and what it means.
It is important to note that BMI categories are not gender specific, and that BMI is not a measurement of body composition (fat and lean mass). Talk with your health care provided about your BMI. If you are pregnant, under 18, or a competitive athlete, this tool may not be an accurate measure of health or disease risk.
This site was last updated June, 2014.
This is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.