Even a little overweight endangers the heart and brain

Even a little overweight puts a strain on the cardiovascular system

Being overweight puts a strain on the circulation. A comprehensive study from Scotland now shows that a little too much fat on the ribs increases the risk of circulatory diseases.

No advantages from being overweight

In the “European Heart Journal”, the researchers contradict the thesis that obesity sometimes even promotes health. Even moderate excess belly fat increased the risk of heart failure, heart attack and stroke.

A lot of belly fat is an indication of high health risks and conversely, the less belly fat a person has, the lower the risk of heart disease, according to the Stamatina Iliodromitti from the University of Glasgow, who was involved in the study.

Largest study so far

The study, led by Iliodromitti, included nearly 300,000 people between the ages of 40 and 60 and examined their health from 2006/2010 to 2015. It also took other aspects such as smoking or hypertension into account, which also lead to circulatory diseases.

Clear result

The result was clear: with a body mass index (BMI) between 22 and 23, the risk of cardiovascular diseases is lowest. Obesity starts at 25, obesity at 30.

Linear increase in risk

According to the study, the risk of these diseases increases linearly with the amount of fat: 5.2 points above the cheapest BMI value for women and 4.3 points for men increase the risk by 13%.

Waist size is a trigger

The waist circumference is important: women with a waist of 74 centimeters and men with 83 centimeters run the least risk of suffering from a heart attack, having a stroke or contracting a heart failure. The risk increases by 10% for every 11.4 cm more waist in men and 12.6 cm more in women.

Risk of belly fat

Belly fat plays a crucial role. It releases messenger substances that trigger inflammation and damage the blood vessels.


The consequence of the study is that reducing fat is necessary for health. Obesity makes you sick.

Typical consequences

The study examined the effects of being overweight on the cardiovascular system. However, cardiovascular diseases are not the only consequences of obesity. Diabetes II is also one of the typical problems.

Type II diabetes

With this type of diabetes, the body can no longer accommodate sugar in the cells. The cells hardly react to insulin, which increases the blood sugar level while the glucose is no longer used.

Overproduction of insulin

The body now emits more and more insulin until the pancreas can no longer produce and the insulin supply stops. Then Diabetes II breaks out. The cause of this disease is often obesity.


Other consequences of being overweight are disorders of the fat metabolism - doctors speak of hyperlipidemia. If the cholesterol level or triglyceride level in the blood increases due to too much fat, the organism can no longer reduce the excess. Fat is deposited in the blood vessels - heart attack and stroke hang as a sword by the thread over those affected. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

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