Few overweight people lose weight after heart attack

November 21, 2007 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Few overweight people lose weight after heart attack

Being overweight or obese is a well-known risk factor for heart disease. However, many overweight people who have heart attacks do not lose weight. According to a new study in the American Heart Journal, some overweight heart attack survivors actually gain weight after a heart attack.

In this study, 1,253 overweight or obese heart attack survivors were examined one year after having a heart attack. The average weight loss was only 0.2 percent of body weight for overweight subjects. The average weight gain was 0.4 percent of body weight.

Heart health experts say that people need to lose at least 5 percent of body weight to significantly improve cardiovascular health. (For example, a 200 pound man would need to lose 10 pounds.)

Depression, smoking cessation and not participating in a cardiac rehab program immediately after a heart attack contributed to weight gain in heart attack survivors. Less than a quarter of the study participants were signed up for a cardiac rehab program - professional help with healthy eating, exercise and other lifestyle changes - one month after having a heart attack.

In Canada, 75,000 people suffer attacks each year. According to the Canadian Cardiac Rehabilitation Foundation, fewer than 15% of heart attack survivors use a cardiac rehab program to help them change their eating, physical activity and smoking habits.

Healthy eating plays a critical role in weight loss and heart attack recovery.  Click here for more information on how Leslie Beck can help you with healthy weight loss.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.