Living With High Blood Pressure

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Weight loss and high blood pressure

Why a healthy weight is important

If you are overweight, you are more likely to have high blood pressure which means you’re more likely to develop heart and circulatory disease in the future. And too much fat around the waist makes people more likely to have high blood pressure and other health problems.

A lot of people don’t realise that even though they feel fine, their weight is putting their health at risk. This is a lot to come to terms with, but the good news is that there are things you can do to lose the weight gradually.

Read more about the risks of being overweight >

Finding out if you’re a healthy weight

To find out if you should lose weight, measure your Body Mass Index (BMI) and your waist. If either measurement is higher than it should be, speak to your GP or nurse about how to lose weight gradually.

You can use a simple BMI calculator to find out if you’re a healthy weight for your height and age. You just need to know how tall you are and how much you weigh.

Calculate your BMI >

To measure your waist, wrap a tape measure around your middle between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips, just above your belly button. The tape measure should fit snugly - try not to tense or breathe in.

Laura's story

Losing weight isn't always easy, but it's definitely possible. You can do it, even if you have struggled with your weight for a long time. Find out how Laura's small, consistent changes added up to make her feel healthier and happier.

3 lies we tell ourselves about our weight

  1. "We’re all getting bigger, it’s natural." Because obesity is rising in the UK, we’ve become used to people being larger. But the health risks are the same as they always have been.

  2. "I only have a bit of a belly." Storing excess fat around your middle increases your risk of high blood pressure. This fat is called visceral fat – it builds up around your internal organs and too much of it is dangerous for your health, even if you’re a healthy weight.

  3. "Eating the odd biscuit won’t make me fat." Snacks that seem small can still add up to a lot of calories. For example, eating two custard creams a day (an extra 120 kcals a day) on top of your normal diet can increase weight by 12 lbs or 5 kg in one year.

Read more facts to help you lose weight >

Join the conversation on HealthUnlocked

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