STEP 5 Manage Your Weight You’re not alone if you are carrying around extra pounds. Unfortunately, nearly 2 out of 3 adults in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the Surgeon General’s 2010 report. The rates are even higher among African Americans, especially African- American women. The most important reason to lose weight is that you’ll feel better and stay healthier. Having extra body fat can lead to a heart attack, stroke, diabetes and other serious health problems. Losing even just a small amount of weight is likely to help in several ways. Losing weight helps to: 30 ■■ Lower your blood pressure (thus decreasing your risk of heart attack and stroke). ■■ Reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides (thus decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease). ■■ Keep your blood sugar from rising (thus decreasing your risk of diabetes). ■■ Increase self-esteem. ■■ Improve depression symptoms. ■■ Reduce your risk of arthritis. Your genes, your environment, and emotional factors can all contribute to obesity. No matter what the causes are, it boils down to this: You are taking in more calories than you use.
P750-A 7 Steps to a Healthy Heart
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