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Impact of Obesity on Heart Disease

More Americans battle obesity than any other health problem, but generally do so for cosmetic reasons:  most are not even aware what a significant health risk it is to be overweight.  We asked Dr. Judith Korner from Columbia University to discuss this.

"Actually, in 1997, the World Health Organization declared obesity as an independent health factor for heart disease.  When traditionally, we think of high blood pressure and cholesterol.  In fact, if you look at the Nurses Health Study, death rates from heart disease were four fold greater in obese women compared with lean women."

Many listeners may be thinking that this doesn't apply to them because they're not "obese".  What is the medical definition of obesity?

"The definition of obesity is roughly speaking, 20% increase above a person's ideal body weight.  Also, waist circumference is important, that is whether you're an apple or a pear shape, and for women the limit of waist circumference is 35 inches."

Created: 12/15/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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