Harvard Heart Letter

Watch your weight and your waist: Extra pounds may mean heart disease

At any age, extra weight increases the risk of death. Belly fat is particularly dangerous. People with excess belly fat often have high triglyceride levels, low levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. These factors add up to a condition called metabolic syndrome, which increases the chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. That’s why having a normal weight with belly fat is as dangerous as being obese. There are many ways to lower your weight and keep it down: walk, lift weights, stretch, improve your balance, do sit-ups, eat smaller portions, eat more protein, eat quality calories, be gentle with salt, and tell your doctor if your appetite declines.
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