Weight Management

How Excess Weight Affects Your Cardiovascular Health

When you’re overweight or obese, your body is chronically out of balance. You take in more energy, in the form of calories, than you expend. This excess energy is stored as fat.

Obesity alters you cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profile, negatively impacting the structure of your cardiovascular system and the very functioning of your heart. And it’s not just how much you weigh that matters but where you carry your excess weight. People who store fat around their stomachs have a higher risk for CVD and diabetes than those who carry it around their hips.

Obesity accounts for 20% of the risk associated with heart attack. It is a an important public health concern as it increases the risk of numerous other chronic health issues — type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers.

People who are classified as obese are four times as likely to have diabetes, three times as likely to have high blood pressure, and two times as likely to have heart disease.

Canada's food guide displayed on a plate

Benefits of Managing Your Weight

Lifestyle changes can help you lose weight and keep it off, bringing a range of health benefits, such as:


  • Lower blood pressure and management of high blood pressure
  • Lower levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol (forms of fat in the blood)
  • Improved lung function
  • Control of blood sugar (increased insulin sensitivity)
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved mood


When people consume more calories than they use in the course of daily life and physical activity, they put on weight. Being overweight or obese means that you are carrying excess weight that can negatively affect your health.

The battle of the bulge has become a worldwide phenomenon, but excessive weight gain and obesity is still predominately a Western problem. And one that Canada shares: Nearly 60% of Canadian adults, or 14.1 million people, are classified as overweight or obese. With modernization has come processed foods, sedentary lifestyles, and people struggling to manage their weight.

Worldwide Statistics

  • Rates of obesity have doubled since 1980.
  • In 2010, more than 40 million children younger than the age of 5 were classified as overweight.
  • Excessive weight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for death.
  • 8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.

Canadian Statistics