Being overweight increases one's risk of heart disease, and it does not matter if one is aman or a woman. Recent studies show that women with "apple"-shaped figures—where mostof their body weight rests in the abdomen—are at a higher risk of cardiovascular death, whileobese men are at a higher risk for coronary disease. Research also shows that people who areobese are more likely to suffer from a variety of cardiovascular-related disorders, such ashypertension, blood clots, and congestive heart failure. They are also at a greater risk for cancer,degenerative joint disease, and gallbladder disease.
Experts agree that the key to keeping weight off in adulthood lies in childhood. The truth,however, is that the prevalence of overweight children and adolescents today is almost 4 timesgreater than it was in the 1980s—from < 5% to ~16%. Although many of the greater cardiovascularproblems suffered by overweight adults will not surface in today's overweight childrenfor years or even decades, many of these children already suffer from elevated blood pressure,obstructive sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes.