It’s no secret that excess weight is bad for the heart. But a new study suggests that obese people who lose a substantial amount of weight may reverse the related cardiovascular risks.
Researchers found the odds for high blood pressure, which affects nearly 58% of Black women according to American Heart Association statistics, and elevated cholesterol were similar in formerly obese Americans who were now at a healthy weight and people who had always had a healthy weight.
Diabetes risk — another common companion of obesity — improved, too. However, while the risk was lessened with weight loss, it was still high in people who had been obese, investigators say.
“The key takeaway of this study is that weight loss is hard, but important, for cardiovascular health,” researcher Maia Smith, from St. George’s University in Grenada shares.
Obesity is rampant in the United States, 40.7% of self-reported adult Blacks are obese (BMI of 30 or more), according to the CDC.
Additionally, since the pandemic obesity has risen in both children and adults. Obesity decreases your lung capacity and puts you at further risk of severe complications should you contract COVID.
The researchers caution that this study can’t prove that losing weight will reduce cardiovascular risks, only that the two appear connected.
“It’s no surprise that losing weight and keeping it off is hard,” researcher Maia Smith says. “Almost everyone in our original sample who had ever had obesity stayed that way. But don’t despair: If you do manage to lose weight, it can not only prevent but reverse