London: If you have put on some extra kilos then try to indulge in some physical activities to lose the unwanted weight. Because a new study has found that unhealthy weight gain can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.
Staying fit and in shape will help you reduce the risk of these diseases.
According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, the risk of heart and blood vessel problems increases as body mass index (BMI) increases beyond 22-23 kg per square metre.
The findings have shown that the risk also increases steadily the more fat a person carries around their waist.
Lead researcher Stamatina Iliodromiti from the University of Glasgow in Britain said,"By maintaining a healthy BMI of around 22-23 kg per square metre, healthy people can minimise their risk of developing or dying from heart disease."
Although it is already known that being overweight or obese increases a person's risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as other diseases such as cancer, there have also been studies that have suggested otherwise.
These studies have claimed that, particularly in the elderly, being overweight or even obese might not have any effect on deaths from CVD or other causes, and may even be protective, especially if people maintain a reasonable level of fitness.
This is known as the "obesity paradox".
However, the new study refute these previous, conflicting findings.
"Any public misconception of a potential 'protective' effect of fat on heart and stroke risks should be challenged," Iliodromiti said.
The researchers found that as BMI increased above 22 kg per square metre, the risk of CVD increased by 13 per cent for every 5.2 kg per square metre increase in women and 4.3 kg per square metre in men.
Iliodromiti said,"This is the largest study that provides evidence against the obesity paradox in healthy people."
She added, "It is possible that the story may be different for those with pre-existing disease because there is evidence that in cancer patients, for instance, being slightly overweight is associated with lower risk, especially as cancer and its treatments can lead to unhealthy weight loss."
(With IANS inputs)