Garden City Telegram

Taking off weight gain is heart smart 

Renee Zellweger gained 30 pounds to play Bridget Jones in 2001, 2004 and 2014! Each time, after filming ended, she returned to her normal weight in the next six to 12 months by getting back to her exercise routine and eating a healthy diet. 

That's fortunate, because a new study shows the longer you're overweight, the more damage you do to your cardiovascular and metabolic health - increasing your risk of metabolic dysfunction and diabetes.

The study, published in Plos One, looked at the body mass index, blood pressure and the cholesterol and glycated hemoglobin (blood sugar) levels of 20,746 participants from age 10 to 40. Researchers found that folks who were obese for five or fewer years had an A1C (blood glucose) level that was just 5 percent higher than folks with no years of obesity. But those who had been obese for 20 to 30 years had a level that was 20 percent higher - putting them at a far greater risk of diabetes and associated complications, from heart woes and stroke to depression and dementia.

So if you've gained weight during the pandemic or typically gain weight in the wintertime, make a commitment to shed a pound a week. You can do that by eliminating 500 calories a day from your diet and getting 10,000 steps a day or the equivalent, plus at least two days a week of strength training. You'll reduce your weight and reduce damage to your heart, brain and endocrine system. Now that's a Happy New Year! 

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit 

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.