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Obesity adversely affects cardiac function, increases the risk factors for coronary heart disease, and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The risk of developing coronary heart disease is directly related to the concomitant burden of obesity-related risk factors. Modest weight loss can improve diastolic function and affect the entire cluster of coronary heart disease risk factors simultaneously. This statement from the American Heart Association Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism reviews the relationship between obesity and the cardiovascular system, evaluates the effect of weight loss on coronary heart disease risk factors and coronary heart disease, and provides practical weight management treatment guidelines for cardiovascular healthcare professionals. The data demonstrate that weight loss and physical activity can prevent and treat obesity-related coronary heart disease risk factors and should be considered a primary therapy for obese patients with cardiovascular disease.

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