As Dr. Stuart Berman tells it to CNN, an out of shape and overweight doctor is sort of like an accountant who can’t balance his own checkbook. Although previously a practicing pediatrician and now working in the public health sector, like many of us, Dr. Berman recently realized he had lost some control of his physical health. With his weight and vital numbers above what they should be, Dr. Berman was at a higher than normal risk for developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease. Before the problem spiraled out of control, Dr. Berman decided to seek a plan for prevention by joining the Emory HeartWise℠ Risk Reduction Program.
Emory’s own Dr. Laurence Sperling, a preventative cardiologist involved with the HeartWise℠ program was also featured in CNN’s piece offering insight and advice into the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. “Extra weight can increase the chances of developing some of the traditional heart risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes,” notes Sperling. Dr. Sperling also advises that men who notice they’re putting on extra weight “reassess their risk for heart disease and make a plan for prevention.” A small weight loss of just 5lbs can make a huge difference.
Stuart Berman, the doctor who participated in the program, saw better than 5lb results. After working with the HeartWise℠ program to create a plan that included regular exercise and watching what he ate, Dr. Berman was able to lose 60lbs. While that number is extremely impressive, for most people, even a moderate weight reduction can substantially lower the risk for chronic illness.
If you’re in a similar situation to the one Dr. Berman recently found himself in there are preventative steps you can take to reduce your risk for these chronic illnesses such as heart disease. Getting two and a half hours of moderate exercise a week and controlling your portions are great first steps. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to prevent heart disease and other chronic illness, visit our Center for Heart Disease Prevention website.