How Does Obesity Affect the Heart?

I would define myself as a pretty inquisitive person, and I feel like there are so many unanswered questions I have about health in general and even my own weight loss journey.

Luckily, I have access to so many great resources at The Christ Hospital Health Network (and so do you, to be honest) and I can get some of those questions answered. 

I was thinking, what does obesity really do to your heart? We’ve all heard that being overweight isn’t the greatest for your heart health, but what does that really mean? I got the opportunity to chat with cardiologist Dr. Joel Forman on my ‘Pound This’ podcast to ask this question. 

I asked Joel Forman, MD, “When I weighed more than 100 pounds heavier, what was that really doing to my heart?” Dr. Forman said, “It has both direct effects on your heart and effects on risk factors in addition to other health problems. I mean, it increases the risk of cancers and liver disease and all kinds of arthritis. When we look at risk factors of heart disease, the two that we are falling behind on that we had made tremendous progress in are diabetes and obesity, which go together. And obesity is very important for cardiac disease because it is associated with the risk factors that cause cardiovascular disease. So with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.” 

Dr. Forman added, “In terms of structural things, it essentially causes strain on your heart. It causes inflammation and increased risk of heart failure. People who are obese have larger amounts of epicardia. In other words, fat on top of the heart, which is associated with an arrhythmia that causes stroke.”

I also wanted to know, from the standpoint of a cardiologist and working with the public on a daily basis, if obesity is a major factor in heart issues Dr. Forman sees. He said, “Every single day. 70 percent of disease in this country is caused by lifestyle. We are completely numb to what obesity is. A body mass index that is greater than 30 is found in the majority of people that I see in my practice, and it is the minority of people that are within normal range.”

Knowing that, let’s talk solutions! Dr. Forman’s best advice is to focus on being healthy and healthy decisions. Things like, managing stress, getting good sleep, getting some exercise and eating more fruits and vegetables are all important. He says it’s best to focus on your health rather than your weight. It’s more important to be healthy, and in most cases, those healthy decisions will help you lose weight. 

To hear the whole interview, you can find it on my You Can Pound This podcast!

Click to learn more about how our heart and vascular experts can help you or a loved one.

You may have heard radio personality, Amanda Valentine, on B-105's Afternoon Show on weekdays from 3-7 p.m. She also publishes a blog titled Pound This. Amanda has struggled with weight issues her entire life, but in 2012 she started her weight loss journey and now she's lost over 100 pounds. What started as a three-month New Year's resolution challenge with co-workers has evolved into a passion for healthy living. As a paid partner of The Christ Hospital Health Network, Amanda is excited to share her healthy living tips, tricks, and information with Healthspirations.

How Does Obesity Affect the Heart? After losing more than 100 pounds, B105 radio personality Amanda Valentine wondered about the impact being overweight has on the heart. Find out what she learned from cardiologist Joel Forman, MD.

I would define myself as a pretty inquisitive person, and I feel like there are so many unanswered questions I have about health in general and even my own weight loss journey.

Luckily, I have access to so many great resources at The Christ Hospital Health Network (and so do you, to be honest) and I can get some of those questions answered. 

I was thinking, what does obesity really do to your heart? We’ve all heard that being overweight isn’t the greatest for your heart health, but what does that really mean? I got the opportunity to chat with cardiologist Dr. Joel Forman on my ‘Pound This’ podcast to ask this question. 

I asked Joel Forman, MD, “When I weighed more than 100 pounds heavier, what was that really doing to my heart?” Dr. Forman said, “It has both direct effects on your heart and effects on risk factors in addition to other health problems. I mean, it increases the risk of cancers and liver disease and all kinds of arthritis. When we look at risk factors of heart disease, the two that we are falling behind on that we had made tremendous progress in are diabetes and obesity, which go together. And obesity is very important for cardiac disease because it is associated with the risk factors that cause cardiovascular disease. So with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.” 

Dr. Forman added, “In terms of structural things, it essentially causes strain on your heart. It causes inflammation and increased risk of heart failure. People who are obese have larger amounts of epicardia. In other words, fat on top of the heart, which is associated with an arrhythmia that causes stroke.”

I also wanted to know, from the standpoint of a cardiologist and working with the public on a daily basis, if obesity is a major factor in heart issues Dr. Forman sees. He said, “Every single day. 70 percent of disease in this country is caused by lifestyle. We are completely numb to what obesity is. A body mass index that is greater than 30 is found in the majority of people that I see in my practice, and it is the minority of people that are within normal range.”

Knowing that, let’s talk solutions! Dr. Forman’s best advice is to focus on being healthy and healthy decisions. Things like, managing stress, getting good sleep, getting some exercise and eating more fruits and vegetables are all important. He says it’s best to focus on your health rather than your weight. It’s more important to be healthy, and in most cases, those healthy decisions will help you lose weight. 

To hear the whole interview, you can find it on my You Can Pound This podcast!

Click to learn more about how our heart and vascular experts can help you or a loved one.

/PublishingImages/Healthspirations%20Photos/Amanda%20July%20-754x436.png https://www.thechristhospital.com/PublishingImages/Healthspirations%20Photos/Amanda%20July%20-754x436.png /Pages/Healthspirations/How-Does-Obesity-Affect-the-Heart.aspx
The Christ Hosptial