Once, thousands of years ago, there was a cool monk named Gregor Mendel, who discovered much about certain diseases and inheritance just by looking at the color and texture of peas in his holy garden.
See, what are now termed 'Mendelian diseases', come about due to mutation in ONE gene. These are rare diseases, but very easy to diagnose-via a genetic scan for example. Some examples are cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell anemia.
Thousands of years later, my uncle was 50, exercising in the gym that he frequented regularly. In the middle of a set of sit-ups, he had a massive cardiac arrest, and died on the mat. Even Monk Mendel would have been dumbfounded at my healthy uncle's death.
See, to this day we don't know what killed my uncle, beyond the intense fibrillation, then abrupt and permanent stopping of his heart. He was not overweight, and had never been diagnosed with heart problems.
Today I am a cardiovascular scientist, and have learned alot about cardiovascular disease in my travels. The most important piece that I want to share with you today is that cardiovascular diseases are 'Complex Diseases'. Unlike Mendelian diseases, Complex diseases cannot be pinpointed to a mutation in ONE gene, in fact they initiate and escalate through a variety of mutations and/or environmental factors.
On the good side if you are lucky and have just one of these mutations, it doesn't ensure you to get a heart disease, such as early onset and fatal heart attacks. However, while EACH of these mutations account for at least 5% of increased risk or so individually, they add up-quickly as do many slices in a pie. More and more of these risk factor-inducing mutations are discovered every year.
So if you have many of the below mutations and/or factors, your odds greatly increase for developing cardiovascular diseases.
Here a just a few:
Being a man
Family history of heart disease
African American, American Indian, and Mexican American
High LDL cholesterol
Low HDL cholesterol
Obesity-more than 20% over ideal body weight
High C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation in the body)
Stress or Anger
Long QT syndrome
Nitrous Oxide System
Membrane (Ion) Channels
Take at look at that list-how many of these things do you have? Or at least know about?
Then look at them all and think how many are probably induced by being fat in the first place?
In fact, current research indicates that obesity ALONE is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases because it initiates so many other risk factors...
So while my upfront goal is to be a size 6, in actuality eliminating my obesity will significantly reduce any chance I have of being a heart attack/stroke etc statistic.
Many people know being fat is 'bad' for your heart or exacerbates your high blood pressure or high cholesterol and gets you an uncomfortable lecture from your doctor...
However I hope that by breaking it down and showing you the far-reaching tentacles of obesity ALONE affecting all the heart risk-factors this would not only serve as another impetus to lose weight, but to maintain your healthy choices following your loss-to live better, stronger, and longer. So you don't end up on a cold stone slab after a round of sit-ups.