Cardiovascular health risks related to overweight

J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Jul;97(7 Suppl):S47-51. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8223(97)00729-3.


Cross-sectional surveys of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States, including in-home interviews and clinical examinations, were employed to examine trends in consumption of energy and fat, prevalence of overweight in the population, the association of overweight with levels of blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and the prevalence of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol among the overweight compared with the nonoverweight. Data from participants 20 years of age and older are reported. Study results suggest that total mean energy intake, although generally accepted to be underreported in dietary surveys, may have increased. Total fat and saturated fat intake as a percent of energy decreased, but remained above recommended levels. Overweight has increased in the population, despite decreases in the prevalence of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels. Increased levels of overweight, reported as body mass index, are associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. These data suggest the need for health care practitioners to emphasize the requirement for energy balance (or weight loss if overweight, ie, not at a "healthy weight"). A focus on fat intake alone without emphasis on energy balance is inadequate for achieving and maintaining recommended weight.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / complications
  • Hypercholesterolemia / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Dietary Fats