Most people want to lose weight to improve their outward appearance. However, weight loss also plays a significant role in heart health. Overweight individuals are putting themselves at a greater risk for high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high cholesterol.
These are all risk factors that can lead to heart disease and strokes. When children are overweight, it can increase their risk for developing cardiovascular disease when they get older.
Weight loss is the one of the best ways to maintain a healthy heart, since losing weight can actually restore some of the heart’s youth. A lower weight makes it easier for the heart to function properly by relaxing between contractions and refilling with blood. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.
The best measure for determining if a person is at a healthy weight is body mass index or BMI. To calculate BMI , divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches. Divide that total by your height again. Then multiply that number by 703. For adults, a healthy BMI falls between the range of 18.5 and 24.9.
This same formula can be used for children. However, it must also include the child’s date of birth, current age and sex. Because a healthy weight in children with change rapidly with height increases and age, they are measured on a percentile scale that compares averages for boys and girls. A normal weight for a child is when their BMI falls between the 5th and 85th percentile.