Most Americans Concerned About Weight, Link to Heart Health

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Most Americans Concerned About Weight, Link to Heart Health
Most Americans Concerned About Weight, Link to Heart Health

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans are concerned about their weight and understand the connection between weight and cardiovascular health, but a substantial proportion of them are not doing much to lose excess weight, according to a Cleveland Clinic survey.

From Sept. 20 to 28, 2018, the Cleveland Clinic conducted an online survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,002 adults (≥18 years) living in the continental United States.

The survey results indicate that 74 percent of respondents are concerned about their weight and 65 percent are worried about getting heart disease related to being overweight or obese; however, less than half (43 percent) of respondents have tried to make dietary changes to lose weight. Furthermore, 40 percent of those who describe themselves as overweight or obese say they are not careful about which foods they eat. While the large majority of those surveyed have tried at least one weight-loss method in the past (84 percent), 30 percent admit that they only stick with a weight-loss plan for one week to one month. The majority of respondents do not link obesity to cancer (87 percent), atrial fibrillation (80 percent), high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (54 percent), coronary artery disease (57 percent), or stroke (64 percent). Only a minority of patients told their doctor they would like to lose weight (28 percent) or discussed heart health in relation to their weight with their doctor (22 percent).

"We need to do a better job of educating patients and the public about the major consequences of carrying excess weight and the benefits of losing weight," Steven Nissen, M.D., chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said in a statement. "A patient only needs to lose 5 percent of their body weight to start seeing important health benefits."

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