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Prevent and treat obesity and overweight for cardiovascular health

Preventing and treating obesity, but also reducing overweight, is essential to ensure cardiovascular health. Here because.

Obesity, overweight and cardiovascular health

Obesity affects 523 million people globally (Roth et al., 2019), with a prevalence almost double that of thirty years ago (1990). And it is directly linked to cardiovascular diseases, which in 80% of cases affect obese and overweight people.

Overweight and obesity they are thus today the first cause of cardiovascular diseases, which in the 90s of the last century were instead mainly attributed to cigarette smoking. (1) And this group of diseases still represents the first cause of mortality premature globally.

BMI as a risk indicator

The BMI (body mass index, body mass index) is a reference value that is calculated by dividing the weight (in kg) by the height squared (m2). The ministry of health has set up an easy calculation tool for this link.

Check your BMI it is important, considering that:

  • starting from the high range of normal weight (22,5-25 kg / m2) the risk of mortality from all causes increases by 30% for every 5 kg / m2 increase, (2)
  • overweight (BMI between 25 and 29,9 kg / m2) doubles the likelihood of developing hypertension, compared to normal weight (BMI 18,5-24,99), (3)
  • obesity (BMI> 35) increases risk factors, also due to hypertension, dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes. In these cases the risk of heart attack and stroke is advanced by 10 years and with greater severity. (4)

How to defend yourself

Obesity it is a disease and as such deserves to be managed with the support of the appropriate health centers. For overweight, in addition to the support of a nutritionist, it is advisable to review your eating style and introduce regular exercise.

Excessive intakes of saturated fats, sugars and salt - poisonous due to excess weight - can be easily avoided already in the phase of choosing the food products on the shelf. In Italy thanks to Yuka app, which is largely based on the NutriScore system.

Notes

(1) Roth G, Mensah G, Johnson C, et al. Global Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases and Risk Factors, 1990–2019. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Dec, 76 (25) 2982–3021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.11.010

(2) Whitlock G, Lewington S, Sherliker P, et al. Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in 900 000 adults: collaborative analyzes of 57 prospective studies. Lancet. 2009; 373: 1083-1096

(3) World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular disease: avoid heart attacks and strokes. Questions and answers... 2015

(4)  Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). GBD comparison. Viz Hub. 2022. https://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare/

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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".

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