Reminders of the aesthetic benefits of losing weight bombard us constantly. But the importance of weight control goes beyond appearance...way beyond. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers.
Specifically, overweight and obesity tends to raise total blood-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, as well as lower HDL-cholesterol levels. If you carry excess weight around your waist, your chance of developing metabolic syndrome increases, too.
But weight control is a powerful weapon in the struggle to reduce the risk of these health problems. Losing weight helps lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and it may even raise HDL cholesterol. It also decreases the risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
What's more, you do not necessarily have to lose large amounts of weight to reap the benefits. Studies have shown that even modest weight loss can lower blood-cholesterol and triglyceride levels and improve conditions related to high blood pressure and diabetes.
Of course, this is true largely if the extra weight is from fat. The next page explains the difference between being overweight and overfat.
For more information about losing weight, see:
- How Cholesterol Works: Cholesterol is essential to the body. Find out why we need it and how much is too much.
- Coronary Heart Disease: This condition is the culmination of years of plaque buildup in the arteries. Find out how to prevent it.