The Leading Cause of Death In America
Statistics are clear – the leading cause of death in America is heart disease. That holds true for both men and women. While there are many facets and layers to the epidemic of heart disease, much of its prominence can be attributed to obesity. Obesity has been dubbed “the silent killer” due to the nature of how it affects the human body. Though obesity alone may not be the acute reason for why an individual dies, it contributes to the development of numerous medical conditions.
Obesity Increases the Risk of Disease
The rise in obesity has been linked to parallel rises in many adverse medical conditions. For instance, diet and obesity are known factors in the development of type-2 diabetes. That also holds true for the leading cause of death in America, heart disease. Excess adipose tissue requires that the heart perform additional work to pump blood to the tissues in the body. That additional workload can contribute to premature heart failure or acute cardiac arrest.
Genetics Play a Role
Of course, it should not be ignored that there are many factors that can contribute to heart disease. Genetic predisposition to heart failure can be passed down from generation to generation. The same holds true for many other medical conditions, including diabetes. However, predisposition to developing a medical problem does not ensure that an individual will suffer from that issue. It merely means that certain individuals must be more mindful when it comes to maintaining a healthy body composition.
Managing Body Weight
There are many ways to manage body weight. Typically, medical providers base recommendations on the Body Mass Index, or BMI. However, the guidelines for the Body Mass Index fail to account for several factors. A more accurate way to monitor body composition is through body fat analysis. Body fat takes into account that each individual body is different. Some people are thicker throughout the waist, or may even be more muscular. For this reason, body fat analysis is much more effective as a measure than Body Mass Index. These measures can be captured for you at an employee or community health fair.
Body weight is best managed over the long term through moderation and commitment to a healthy lifestyle when it comes to diet and exercise. As scientists learn more about the psychology of weight management, it becomes clear that having a plan that you can stick to is more important than trying to achieve extreme results.
Managing Stress and Anxiety
Stress is also a key factor in heart disease. High levels of stress can lead to increases in blood pressure. High blood pressure can adversely affect heart function and even lead to acute heart failure. Managing anxiety can be key to reducing or normalizing stress levels. It is important for individuals to understand the triggers or external factors that may be causing excess stress. Depending on the level of anxiety, it can be managed with dietary changes or may require lifestyle adjustments. Regardless, managing body weight and stress will both go a long way towards reducing your risk of heart disease.