5.35 Weight Loss and Impact on Cardiovascular Health

The guidelines make these statements about health risks based on the available data:

  • Higher BMI = higher risk of fatal heart disease and stroke
  • Weight loss of just 5 to 10 pounds by lifestyle change reduces diabetes risk by 30-60%
  • Losing a small amount of weight (6-20 pounds) reduces triglycerides, reduces LDL cholesterol, increases HDL cholesterol and fewer cholesterol medications will be needed
  • Weight loss significantly lowers blood pressure readings and if 5% weight loss, fewer blood pressure medications are needed

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