Why Your Excess Weight Could Be Endangering Your Heart

Why Your Excess Weight Could Be Endangering Your Heart

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are the leading risk factors for heart disease. People who are overweight or obese are at greater risk of developing these three diseases. 

At Gulf West Medical Associates in Port Richey, Florida, we specialize in diagnosing and managing these common chronic health conditions. Our board-certified internal medicine physician, Dr. Rajesh Dave, sees firsthand the effects weight has on heart health.

Here, we want to explain why excess weight is endangering your heart.

About excess weight

When we say excess weight, we mean excess body fat. 

There are a few tools we can use to measure your body fat. The simplest tool is body mass index (BMI), which compares your weight to your height.

We classify your weight into categories based on the results of your BMI:


A BMI that puts you in the overweight or obese category generally means you have excess body weight. Despite the strong connection between BMI and body fat, however, it’s not a perfect measuring tool. 

When evaluating weight and how it may affect health, we also take your diet and exercise habits into consideration, as well as other health markers like blood pressure, blood glucose numbers, and heart rate. 

Weight and heart health

Excess weight puts you at risk of developing health conditions that are also risk factors for heart disease. These include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

High blood pressure

You need more blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout your body when you carry excess weight. The excess weight and extra blood increases the heart’s workload, which in turn increases blood pressure. 

High cholesterol

Excess weight also puts you at risk of developing high cholesterol — more specifically, the bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol) that forms plaque along the walls of your blood vessels, narrowing or blocking the flow of blood through your arteries. 


Having too much abdominal fat interferes with how your body uses insulin, the hormone that helps get glucose from the blood into the cell for energy. This is why people who are overweight or obese are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes also negatively affects blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels and is a risk factor for heart disease.

Healthy weight, healthy heart

Excess body weight strains your heart and puts you at risk of health conditions linked to heart disease. Losing even a small amount of weight can reduce blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and glucose numbers. 

We know weight loss is hard, which is why we focus on preventive health care at our practice. We work closely with you, helping you make small, manageable changes to improve nutrition and physical activity. Our goal is to empower you to reach a healthier weight that benefits your heart.

Excess weight affects more than just your heart. If you have concerns about your weight and health, schedule an appointment with our primary care provider by calling us at 727-848-0247 or requesting an appointment online today. 

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