Hypertension and Weight

Your weight is directly linked to your blood pressure – blood pressure rises as you gain weight. If you’re hypertensive (have high blood pressure), and are overweight, the first thing I recommend, apart from beginning conventional medication to control your blood pressure, is losing weight. Losing as little as 5 kilos is likely to lower your blood pressure.

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Considering weight gain is also closely linked to cardiovascular disease, high blood cholesterol and the onset of diabetes, losing weight is a good thing overall.

Are you overweight? For most normal individuals (not too muscular or suffering from water retention), the following measures are used:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Waist circumference

If your BMI is 25 or more, you’re overweight and need to lose weight. A waist circumference of 35 inches or more is considered high for women, and 40 inches or more is considered high for men. Additionally, an increase in abdominal fat (fat around your belly) is also considered to increase the risk of disease.

I suggest targeting a reduction in both, BMI and waist circumference if any are high, especially if you’re already hypertensive (have high blood pressure).

What’s your waist circumference and BMI? Do you think you’re at risk for hypertension?


  1. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

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