I’ve mentioned the health benefits of increasing fruit and veg intake in earlier blogs but you also need to be aware that your weight can make a significant difference to your risk of heart disease.

I’m exploring options for my dissertation and having a history  heart disease in my family is leading me to consider a primary research project linked to nutritional advice available to first degree blood relatives of patients who suffered premature coronary heart disease.

Being overweight puts you more at risk of:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes

Which are 3 of the modifiable risk factors for coronary heart disease.

There are two main ways to tell whether you need to lose weight:

  • Waist measurement
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)

The BMI tool on the British Heart Foundation’s website is really easy to use. Just select: male/female; imperial for stones and pounds; then slide the pointers to your height and weight and watch the figure literally get bigger or small.

Alternatively you can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms (kg) by your height in metres (m), then divide the answer by your height again.

A few words of caution:

This calculator is not appropriate for under 18’s, pregnant women and populations other than caucasian. BMI also does not take into account adults with a very athletic build (such as professional athletes) muscle weighs heavier than fat so could show a reading of overweight.

It is a good idea to also check your waist size too, to see whether you are at increased risk of developing health problems, use the table at the end of this blog.


Back in 2011 I raised £235 for the British Heart Foundation doing the Manchester to Blackpool Overnight Bike Ride – It was a great challenge and very rewarding.

Me and my brilliant cycling buddy getting ready for the overnight bike ride on 17/9/2011

Me and my brilliant cycling buddy getting ready for the overnight bike ride on 17/9/2011

More details available at:   (now closed for donations)









Measure your waist then use the table below to assess what level of risk you have of developing health problems:


Increased risk

Severe risk


Over 94cm (37″)

over 102cm (40″)

South asian men

over 90cm (35.5″)


Over 80cm (32″)

over 88cm (35″)

South asian women

over 80cm (32″)

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