According to the latest findings of the highly regarded Framingham Heart Study, even a moderately overweight condition increases the risk of developing heart failure, or inability to pump enough blood to supply the body’s needs. The findings were published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.
Previous studies linked obesity to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other preconditions of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases, which kill more than a million Americans each year. A 1999 Framingham Heart Study report estimated a 1-3 percent increase in the risk of premature death for every pound over the ideal body weight.
The good news is that the leading causes of obesity – consumption of fat-laden meat and dairy products and inadequate exercise – are totally preventable. Consumers must learn to replace animal-derived foods with wholesome grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits and to undertake a regular exercise program at the earliest age. Parents must insist that their children’s schools replace greasy fast food fare with wholesome plant-based food and beverage choices.