When we left the Coffee Club last week those of us with “excess pounds” were encouraging each other to do something about getting them gone. As we gather this morning we know Uncle Bud has more information for us.
No one has to ask him to start the discussion. He is telling us, even before all have seated, that some of the most common problems people with excess weight have are high blood pressure and unhealthy levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood. These problems tend to occur together and both can lead to health problems such as heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is about six times more common in people who are obese than in those who are lean. According to the American Heart Association, 22 pounds of excess weight boosts systolic blood pressure (the first number in a reading) by an average of 3 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (the second number) by an average of 2.3 mm Hg, which translates to a 24% increase in stroke risk.
A 2007 study in Archives of Internal Medicine examined the connection between weight and heart disease by pooling results from 21 different studies involving more than 300,000 people. The study found:
Being overweight boosted the risk of heart disease by 32%
Obesity increased the risk by 81%
Although the adverse effects of overweight on blood pressure and cholesterol levels could account for 45% of the increased heart disease risk, even modest amounts of excess weight can increase the odds of heart disease independent of those well-known risks, the authors concluded.
Compared with people of normal weight, overweight people face a 22% higher risk of stroke. For those who are obese, the increased risk rises to 64%, according to a 2010 report in the journal Stroke, which pooled results from 25 studies involving more than two million people.
Now those facts alone got our attention but Uncle Bud was not ready to stop. He tells us he knows we have touched on this some in the past but it is too important to not bring up again. So he ask, “Are any of you aware that diabetes is currently the seventh leading cause of death in the Unites States? Sam, who is an Uncle Bud wanta be jumps right in and lets us know he has done some study on the subject himself. He tells us that overweight and obesity are so closely linked to diabetes that some experts have coined the term “diabesity” to describe the phenomenon.
You could see the surprise on several as Uncle Bud told us that some experts believe that obesity ranks as the second leading cause of cancer death, after cigarette smoking. When Sam questions this Uncle Bud shares that A study by the American Cancer Society, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, followed more than 900,000 people for 16 years. The study showed a link between excess body weight and many different cancers.
The information we received today was enough for some of the members to ask for the phone number of the WeightoWellness place a few of us keep encouraging members to check out. We are hoping you will also check them out. You will be glad you did.