Coronary Heart Disease & Obesity1,2

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of heart disease. If you're overweight or obese, you're more likely to develop high blood pressure and high cholesterol – the most common risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Simply carrying extra body fat – especially around your waist – can lead to inflammation, which in turn can raise your risk of heart disease. If you have coronary heart disease, your heart and your circulation no longer work as well as they should, and your arteries may have hardened and become narrower. Coronary heart disease can lead to:

Coronary heart disease is a serious health challenge – it's the number one cause of death in the U.S. – but you can take action to prevent it or manage it. According to the National Institutes of Health, reducing your weight by just 5 to 10 percent can substantially lower your risk of developing heart disease. The most important steps to take include:

1. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Web site, accessed September 13, 2011 at
2. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General Web site, accessed September 13, 2011 at