Managing your weight
can increase your risk of getting heart disease, and is harmful to
your general health too.
Being overweight puts extra strain on your heart, making it work
harder. It can also make it harder for you to be physically
active and you might find that you become out of breath more
A rude awakening
Stephen says, "The reason I went to the
doctor's in the first place was that I went on a trip with friends
to Manchester for the night.
"I woke up in the middle of the night with chest pains. I was
finding it really hard to breath; I decided I needed to go to the
"Well, really, I put off going for six months because I thought
it was nothing to be worried about, just a one-off But then
my doctor did a blood test, checked my cholesterol and my
"There are different categories in regards to your weight:
obese, overweight, normal and underweight. I was obese; I really,
really needed to do something.
"My doctor told me I needed to sort it out. I was really
shocked as I thought most people lived to 70 or 80ish. If I
had carried on, I would have only had 15 years left, I needed to
start doing something."
You may be overweight because you eat
more food than you need, or the food that you eat is high in fat
and sugar, or because you don't do enough exercise.
It is important to look at your body
shape too. If you put on weight around your middle, you may
have a greater risk of getting coronary heart disease and diabetes
than someone who puts weight on around their hips.
One of our research teams, led by
, is looking at the
links between lifestyle factors, like being overweight, DNA and
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