400,000 Americans will die of heart disease in 2010. The United States has been successful for the last 40 years in cutting deaths by heart disease. This has been accomplished by addressing risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, and high “bad” cholesterol levels.
Unfortunately, that progress is now being stalled by the continuation of smoking and the explosion of obesity, which is also a risk factor for heart disease. An article published by Reuters earlier today said that scientists in the United Kingdom released a study that says that half of those 400,000 deaths could have been prevented if “people ate healthier food and quit smoking.”
In the US, one third of all adults are now considered to be medically obese with a Body Mass Index over 30. Another third are considered to be overweight with a BMI over 25. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has an online BMI calculator.
Childhood obesity is also exploding in the US. First Lady Michelle Obama is set to launch a nationwide initiative to fight childhood obesity.
According to the World Health Organization, the US is not alone in the obesity epidemic. The number of obese people in the world is quickly approaching 1 Billion, and projections are that the number will reach 1.5 billion by 2015.
Experts in chronic disease prevention say lifestyle choices are primarily responsible fhe continuring high death rate due to heart disease. The key to prevention for many people is simple and straightforward:
- Quit smoking
- Eat a healthy diet
- Regular exercise
The best part of this advice is that it does not cost any money. Indeed, not smoking can save you lots of money with the price of a pack of cigarettes being 6-8 dollars a pack now. It also requires no drugs and will also help prevent stroke and diabetes in addition to heart disease.
For more info: It’s your body. It’s your health. It’s your life.
You might also enjoy these:
- The first steps to health if you think you are overweight
- Can the CDC’s claim that obesity rates have topped out be trusted?