Heart Disease and Obesity

By Warren Selkow

It does not take a rocket scientist to discover that many people with heart disease are obese. There is a direct and irrefutable link between coronary disease and being overweight. This is mentioned on the off chance that you were not aware of this fact. Oh, you do know this. The issue at hand then is what can be done about it. There are many approaches available for the heart patient as to what can be done. Here they are from the easiest to the most extreme:

Coronary Obesity Level One – Do Nothing

That's right – do nothing. Most people, having been diagnosed with some form of heart disease, start out with all the best intentions of getting that old waistline smaller. A few problems are immediately encountered. The first one is simple – don't like the food that is on the recommended diet. After a few months of what is perceived as an unvarying and boring diet that extra thick juicy cheeseburger with all the fixings and French fries sneak back onto the table. I know. I have been there and done that. Let me be really honest here, I never made it a few months. I barely made it a few days. You too, huh? We do nothing.

Cholesterol fighting drugs, obesity and heart disease

A concession we make, if we really won't take the diet seriously, is the pill. We will take that wonder drug that will help reduce the amount of cholesterol we have floating around in our bodies. There is only one small problem here. The drug will not help us lose weight. Worse, we are prone to look upon the anti-cholesterol drugs as if the drugs are shields that will protect us from the harmful fats.

Exercise, obesity and heart disease

Another of the quickly forgotten promises we make ourselves is to start a regular exercise program. Yeah, right. You go on ahead, I'll catch up. I need a nap and a snack, not necessarily in that order.

Smoking, obesity and heart disease

Smoking has nothing to do with obesity, or so you think. However, it has a lot to do with obesity and even more to do with heart disease. Smoking is a behavioral trait. It is based on an oral compulsion. Smokers have to have something in their mouths. Smokers have used the excuse of "if I quit smoking I will gain weight". Tough. Moron. I have more to say about this in a few paragraphs.

Unintended Consequences

A fact that no one ever seems to mention is the actual dollar and cents cost of being overweight. We weight over advantaged folks spend a lot more of our disposable income on food than those who eat a more reasonable diet. I guess we can take some heart in knowing we fuel the economy as we fuel ourselves. I am sure the two percent of the population actually engaged in getting food to our tables thank us.

And speaking of fuel, an unintended consequence of being overweight is just what it costs to drive our abundant selves around in our automobiles and trucks. I have seen people get out of trucks and it has answered my questions as to why they need a half-ton truck. The only variable in the cost of running any vehicle is the weight load. The vehicle's weight always remains the same. That being the case, dropping ten percent of your body weight gives an immediate improvement of ten percent in your vehicles miles per gallon usage. I wonder why no one ever talks about this. I know why. It is another oil company conspiracy. Well, maybe not.

Coronary Obesity Level Two – The Newest Diet Book

I wonder how many copies of "The South Beach Diet" book have been sold? I also wonder how many South Beach Diet Cookbooks have been sold. Make no mistake about it the diet really does work. However it is just another example of a great idea misused by the dieters and falls into the "just another diet book" category. I am not being critical here. We all fall into the trap. The doctor says we have to lose weight and what better way than to run right out and get the latest greatest heart healthy cookbook we can find. What better way to demonstrate good intentions of losing weight than to actually by a book to show the way?

Cookbooks and diet books do not reduce either your waistline or cholesterol count, nor do they correct the problems incumbent with heart disease.

The problem is you are left to make up your daily and weekly menu and you have to do the shopping and when you go do the shopping you fall victim to that greatest of all problems, the impulse buy. Yeah, I know, me too. If I could only get past the taco chips and salsa and stay in the produce section I might be able to make some progress.

If you want to buy a cookbook or diet book click here and we will take you to Amazon where you can find thousands and thousands of just such books: Amazon.com. Hold on, maybe you should read the rest of this first.

Right along with the latest cook and diet books go the latest supplement, the latest pill, the latest food and the latest fad diet. People are making fortunes from these. I have only two questions concerning the whole diet industry. If these programs are so good, then 1. Why are so few of them approved by the Federal Drug Administration and 2. Why is the obesity level continually rising? As a people we are getting fatter and fatter every year. And I mean world wide with the exception of those countries where ignorance, poverty and oppressive regimes keep the people hungry and destitute.

Coronary Obesity Level Three – The Diet Program

What is better than a cookbook or diet book and can ensure a diet that is rounded and promises to deliver all the right nutrients? The answer is the "Diet Program" which can be found just a mouse click away. There a quite a few of these programs. I have looked at many of them. For between $12 and $30 a month the program will "formulate" a diet just for you and give you a weekly meal planner. This is a very good approach. However, there are some drawbacks, especially if you have a health problem, like heart disease.

Here is the sad fact of the matter for all that I was able to find: It is a one size fits all program. Makes no difference if you are ten pounds overweight or two hundred pounds overweight. It makes no difference if you have a serious chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease or any other disease. The promise is this is just the diet for you and you will get the same results as the user that used to be size circus tent and is now a size pup tent.

Coronary Obesity Level Four – The Local Diet Program

Almost every community has a place where you can go to get support to help you lose weight. I have to be very careful here in what I write. I have seen many people be very successful with these programs. The programs offer many advantages for those seeking this form of help:

  • Weekly counseling in the form of “group therapy”. Professionals do not run these programs. The counselors are successful users of the programs and salespeople to sell the food.
  • The programs offer the food, which may be delivered to your door. You can also now buy many of the items at your favorite market.
  • The meeting centers are usually convenient to your home.

My observation is the programs tend to be rather pricey. However, the advantage in the price is the fact that when real money is being spent for something, the dieter is apt to treat the program with a higher level of intensity.

Coronary Obesity Level Five – The Doctor Diet Program

Now we are getting really serious. Doctors will put you on a diet and have you visit them every week to keep track of your progress. Doctors have an advantage others do not. A doctor can prescribe drugs. Oh joy. Drugs. What doctors don't do, usually, is ensure you also participate in a monitored exercise program.

There are other programs that doctor's use not requiring drugs. Every community also now has a weight loss clinic. These clinics may or may not have a licensed health care professional to supervise the program. I would hope they all do but the buyer must beware.

Within this level, there is another program I have learned about. It is based on the work of some health care professionals (doctors) who took a more holistic approach to the entire problem and came up with a comprehensive program. I have spent some time speaking with one of the doctors that specialize in this program. He is Dr. Mark Nelson, cardiologist and internist.

Dr. Nelson’s program is not just a diet program. It is called, "Take Shape for Life" and it is an Optimal Health Program. The program helps people lose weight quickly and safely while learning good habits of health so they can maintain a healthy weight and rid themselves of the many obesity related problems, diseases and medications. I would make two observations about this program: 1. It greatly reduces your overall cost of living and 2. It greatly improves your overall quality of life.

Every client enrolled in this program gets a trained personal health coach and on-going support while losing weight and then maintaining a more desirable weight. The program teaches how to make better daily choices, which, over time, determine the state of health.

I have done due diligence on this program as well. It offers a regime of diet, counseling and exercise. One of the greatest advantages of this program is the results can be absolutely outstanding, especially if you have heart disease and or diabetes. The program, if followed properly, will reverse the deleterious effects of diabetes and greatly diminish the effects of heart disease. If you are struggling to lose weight and want to learn how you can take control of your health, this might be just the ticket for you. Check out Dr. Nelson’s web site: www.drnelsoncreatingoptimalhealth.com

Coronary Obesity Level Six – Surgery

The most extreme form of weight control is surgery. The procedure is called bariatric surgery. In short, a surgeon will put a band around your stomach and restrict the amount of food you can eat. This works. The results have been well documented. There are several different types of bariatric surgery including gastric bypass (no band here) and lap band. I make no recommendations for this procedure. I am only a reporter. For more information by all means hit this link.

You will find no link as to where you can get this surgery for this here. If you are at your wits end, and nothing else has worked, and you can afford the procedure, get to your doctor and have him get you to a surgeon that can do this. This may be the only thing that can save your life. However, certain physical requirements must be met. Your doctor can explain it all to you.

Coronary Obesity Conclusion

There is much you can do to lost weight, shrink your waist size and abate the strain on your heart. All that is required is for you to pick the option you like best and get on with it. All the options will work, except for Level One. Of course, you could always have you jaw wired shut. I just don't really recommend that one. If you do pick the jaw wired shut option you can always point to the wires and hiss, "You should see the other guy".

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