Science Fact: Why does obesity result in high blood pressure?


Obesity is becoming a huge global concern. It’s a medical anomaly where a person has amassed so much fat that it becomes perilous to their health.

According to the World Health Organization fact sheet, obesity has doubled up worldwide since 1980. In 2014, over 1.9 billion adults were overweight out of which 600 million were obese. More people are killed by obesity than by being underweight.

Obesity is calculated using BMI or Body Mass Index, a measurement derived by dividing your body weight by squared height.

If your BMI is greater than or equal to 30, then you are considered obese.

What causes obesity?

The primary cause of obesity is the imbalance between calorie intake and energy expended. This means that when you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. Whereas if you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight.

Some other factors leading to obesity are genetics, physical inactivity, depression, lack of sleep and certain medications.

The correlation between Obesity and High blood pressure –

There are several health perils associated with obesity including coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gallstones, and metabolic syndrome.

High blood pressure or Hypertension is one of the major risk factors linked to obesity. According to some recent studies, obese people are six times more likely to develop high blood pressure compared to those at a healthy weight.

Blood pressure is nothing but the force at which blood pushes against the arteries.

An increase in weight would imply greater pressure to circulate blood. Additionally, abdominal fat causes the arteries to become stiff and thick, making it more difficult for the blood to push through which then leads to hypertension.

A famous study called the Framingham Heart study, conducted over 44 years, stated that excess body weight accounted for 28 percent of cases of high blood pressure in women and 26 percent in men.

Does weight loss help prevent hypertension?

Shedding extra pounds can cause a significant drop in blood pressure. One study showed that in a four-year follow-up of 181 obese patients with hypertension, there was a 4.3/3.8mmHg average fall in blood pressure as a result of 10 percent weight loss.

obese-woman650x325Things you can do to keep your blood pressure under control:

1.Shrink that waistline – Besides losing weight, you must also watch your waist size. Gaining excess weight around your waist increases your risk of developing hypertension.

2.Keep the movement going – According to some reports, 30 minutes of physical activity is enough to decrease your blood pressure by 4 to 9 mmHg. Some of the most beneficial exercises to lower blood pressure are walking, running, cycling, swimming and even dancing.

3.Maintain a healthy diet – A healthy diet consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. This can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm HG. Eat foods that are rich in potassium and proteins.

4.Cut your alcohol and caffeine consumption – Anything in excess is bad. Too much consumption of alcohol and caffeine can cause your blood pressure to shoot up.

The Takeaway –

Hypertension is absolutely preventable. If you follow the above mentioned points and adopt a healthier lifestyle, you can certainly reduce your risk of developing hypertension.

Bear in mind that obesity is not only a cosmetic concern but can severely impact your health. With a daily exercise routine, it is possible to keep your weight in check.