Tag Archives: obesity

“Fat But Fit”–No Such Luck

Medical scientists from the University of Birmingham are actively countering the theory that people can be simultaneously overweight and medically fit, presenting new research that reinforces that obese people are at a far greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease than people of a normal, healthy weight.

Researchers claim that the term ‘fat but fit’ is a fallacy that spurs the spread of obesity, a global public health epidemic. The study—presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Portugal—assesses the medical records of 3.5 million people in the United Kingdom between the years 1995 and 2015, in order to evaluate the legitimacy of the theory ‘fat but fit.’

Previous medical research suggests that obesity can have little impact on a person’s susceptibility to various harmful diseases, if they are considered to be otherwise medical healthy. Yet the research, which consistently tracked obese but “metabolically healthy” people, found that they were still at a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes and other heart-related conditions.

Specifically, the study found that obese people were 50 percent more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease, and between 7 and 11 percent more likely to develop cerebrovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease. The United Kingdom’s largest funder of cardiovascular research, The British Heart Foundation, has stated that this research will help to dispel an ‘age-old myth.’

The data further estimates that approximately 28.1 percent of adults in the U.K. qualify as clinically obese, with a Body Mass Index greater than 30. In the United States, the statistics rise to approximately 66 percent.

American Heart Month turns 50

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation declaring the month of February to be American Heart Month. With that being said, each February for the past 50 years, the goal of the American Heart Association (AHA) has been to urge Americans to take responsibility for their heart health. Many things have changed in the past 50 years, but the importance of keeping our hearts healthy is not one of them. Although statistics of Americans dying from heart disease have decreased in recent decades, heart disease remains the # 1 killer of American men and women.

In 1960, over 662,000 Americans died each year from heart disease and over 920,000 died from all forms of cardiovascular disease, according to a Huffington Post article written by AHA CEO, Nancy Brown. In 2010, those numbers were below 600,000 and 784,000. Although less and less people are dying annually from heart related diseases, we’re still not out of the woods. Anyone can develop heart disease but those who smoke, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol are at greater risk. Other factors that contribute include diabetes, obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption.

On January 31, 2014, President Barak Obama instated the 50th proclamation written by an American president declaring cardiovascular disease our number one enemy and redefining February as American Heart Month. In the proclamation, President Obama states that one out of every four deaths in the U.S. is caused by cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this written, official statement, is to encourage the American people to “renew our fight, both as a Nation and in each of our own lives, against the devastating epidemic of heart disease.”

Although every month should be “American Heart Month,” The American Heart Association has numerous events going on throughout the month of February to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and how individuals can make positive changes to their lifestyle to ensure optimal health. Some events include walks, donation drives, the “Go Red for Women” campaign, national Wear Red Day (Feb. 7th) among others. Also, their website is home to the American Heart Month fact of the day educating visitors on unknown cardiovascular information. The bottom line is, many people think it won’t happen to them but the best way to avoid developing a heart condition is to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and kick the unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking.

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) offers a Metabolic Cardiovascular Certification from the University of South Florida to physicians wishing to further their ability to treat patients with cardiovascular conditions as well as prevent disease in others. This certification program covers topics including how to apply nutrition, exercise and weight management programs when it comes to vascular aging and disease; the pathophysiology of hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease and heavy metal toxicity; immunologic vascular disease; and various conditions of vascular disease including dysglycemia, insulin resistance and diabetes and much more. Start your Metabolic Cardiovascular Certification in San Francisco, on March 14-16th by registering for Module XVI(A).

For more information on how you can help raise awareness against cardiovascular disease, visit www.heart.org.

Make Your New Year’s Resolution Fool Proof

For many, the first of January means a new year, a clean slate, and lots of possibilities on the horizon. For many more, this also means it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution.

The most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and improve one’s financial situation. According to the American Heart Association, over 154 million American adults are overweight or obese. Many people just decide they are going to lose 10, 15, 20 pounds without any sort of plan of how to do so. Slowly working towards your goals and setting a timeline will prevent you from getting discouraged early in the process and will allow you to see positive results over time. A TIME Magazine article states “Content of the resolution doesn’t matter as much as how the resolution is set…you can approach a health goal in a way that guarantees failure or approach it in a way that will guarantee success.”

  • Set realistic goals- If New Year’s resolutions were easy to maintain, everyone would look like supermodels, be filthy rich, be world travelers, experts at their hobbies, and be completely stress-free. Achieving goals means setting realistic expectations. For example, if you’re 30 pounds overweight, don’t expect to lose 30 pounds right away just because you’re ready to. It takes time, strategy and extreme commitment.
  • Keep yourself accountable- Have a friend or family member check in with you and keep you responsible for your goal.
  • Be strategic- Know what works for you. For example, if you know you’re going to have to work late one week, get your workouts done in the morning. Another example, if you’re trying to save money- dedicate a specific percentage of every paycheck to your savings account, set weekly grocery budgets, etc.
  • Reward yourself- While consistency with a New Year’s resolution is important, don’t be too hard on yourself. Depriving yourself of a piece of birthday cake while everyone else around you is enjoying one, is cruel torture. Have a small piece, and make sure you get your exercise in that day.
  • Be optimistic- Know that you can do it. Being your own worst enemy isn’t helping anyone, you’ll get discouraged way easier. A Positive attitude can go a long way.

Resolving to make a major life change without any thought or goals involved, is basically setting yourself up for failure. New Year’s resolutions are a great opportunity to change something you don’t like about yourself but they get a bad rep because their success rate is not always great. Gradual, consistent progress is a sure way to ensure triumph, no matter what you want the end result to be.