Obesity: the single greatest cause of hypertension

 


Modest weight loss of 5%-10% has been associated with clinically
significant reductions in blood pressure.

Did you know that “hypertension” is the medical name for high blood pressure? How about that with the significant rise in obesity, we have also seen a corresponding increase in the prevalence of hypertension? 

While it is true that not all people who are overweight also suffer from high blood pressure, studies now indicate that approximately 75% of hypertension cases are directly attributable to being overweight.  That means that obesity is the single greatest cause of hypertension among Americans.

Typically, high blood pressure from being overweight occurs because of what is referred to as “peripheral resistance,” which simply means that it is harder for blood to flow through an overweight body. High blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and macular degeneration.   The news is not all bad.  Studies have also shown that weight loss is considered to be the most effective non-pharmacological therapy for lowering blood pressure in those who are overweight.  In fact, there is a direct correlation between the degree of weight lost and the reduction in blood pressure. Even modest weight loss of 5% –10% of body weight has been associated with clinically significant reductions in blood pressure.

Let’s face it – losing weight is not easy.  If it were, everyone would do it.  But there is hope with what we now know about dieting.  Before going on a diet, consult with your doctor, or a nutritionist.

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