Are Bad Habits Increasing Your Heart Disease Risk?

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • Annually, the American Heart Association (AHA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) publish the latest statistics for heart disease and stroke. The most recent updates found deaths due to cardiovascular disease actually decreased by 33% over the past 10 years and deaths due to stroke were reduced 37%.


    This goes to show that a significant amount of progress has been made to improve outcomes for those who suffer heart attacks and strokes. Great news!


    What’s not so good news are the increasing risk factors of US adults making them more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. Did you know 68% of US adults are overweight or obese? Did you know 32% of children are overweight and 17% of children obese? And according to the AHA, CDC, and NIH, 33% of US adults do no engage in any aerobic leisure time physical activity. If you look around, it’s not so hard to believe that a majority of US adults are overweight and sedentary. Where do you fall?

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    Here’s an update from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: Between 1971 and 2004 women increased their calorie intake 22% and men 10%, mostly due to a larger intake of carbohydrates. So, low levels of physical activity + increased food intake = increasing numbers of overweight and obese adults.


    Being overweight and obese also leads to a greater prevalence of type II diabetes, which adds to cardiovascular disease risk.


    It’s also hard to believe with all we know about the negative effects of cigarette smoke that 20% of Americans continue to smoke.


    In order to promote good health, you must control your risk factors for heart disease.


    Some of the factors you control include:

    Review the above list and identify what you struggle with and then decide what steps you can take today to gain control of the risk factor. Make a plan and move forward.


    You can access the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps at

Published On: February 27, 2013