Maintaining a healthy bodyweight
Maintaining a healthy bodyweight and shape can significantly protect your heart. People who are overweight or obese tend to have a higher risk of certain risk factors for heart disease, such as increased levels of blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
As well as bodyweight [measured as body mass index (BMI)], your shape, can affect your health risk. If you are overweight and carry fat around the waist (apple–shaped), you are at greater risk than if you carry fat on the hips and thighs (pear-shaped).
- If you are a man, your chance of developing health problems is higher if your waist measurement is more than 94 cm (37 inches), and higher still if it is more than 102 cm (40 inches).
- If you are a woman, your chance of developing health problems is higher if your waist measurement is more than 80 cm (31.5 inches), and higher still if it is more than 88 cm (34.5 inches).
- Type 2 diabetes prevalence is strongly associated with ethnicity. The International Diabetes Federation and South Asian Health Foundation are in agreement that men from South Asian and Chinese ethnic groups are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes if waist size is greater than 90 cm.
Together with being physically active, eating a healthy, balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy bodyweight as well as providing your body with all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs to keep healthy. Read on for top tips for eating to keep your heart healthy!