Heart Your Heart

Weight / BMI

Weight's Connection with Heart Disease

The American Heart Association has found that even if you have no other related health conditions, obesity itself increases risk of heart disease. Being overweight is a major risk factor for both coronary heart disease and heart attack. If you are 20% overweight or more, your risk for developing heart disease increases significantly, especially if you have a lot of fat in your stomach areas.

Being inactive increases the risk of heart disease, possibly even more so for women. Females who are not active are more likely to become diabetic, have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. All three of these conditions increase the chance of developing heart disease.

What is BMI?


Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement of your weight relative to your height. Your waist measurement indicates abdominal fat. In combination, these numbers indicate whether you are overweight or obese and at risk for a variety of health problems. BMIs are good indicators of healthy or unhealthy weights for adult men and women, regardless of body frame size.

Excess weight increases the heart's work, and can raise blood pressure, blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also lowers HDL (good) cholesterol levels and can make diabetes more likely to develop. Losing as few as 10 pounds can lower your heart disease risk.

Calculate your BMI and what it means with the American Heart Association's BMI tool following these steps:


  • Type your height and weight into the calculator.
  • Select a status option.
  • If you're under 20 years old, highly trained/athletic, pregnant or breastfeeding, BMI may not be the best method of assessing your risk of being overweight or obese.

BMI Levels

Below 18.5....................Underweight




30.0 and over................Obese


Waist Measurement

In women, a waist measurement of more than 35 inches indicates increased risk for weight-related problems. For men, a waist measurement of more than 40 inches indicates increased risk for weight-related problems.


If your numbers are not ideal, there is still good news: you can start making your heart healthier today!  Our Lady of the Lake offers weight loss management solutions through Lake Weight Solutions, our medically supervised weight loss program, and through our Bariatric Center of Excellence weight loss surgery options. We also have an affordable onsite gym, Lake Health Center