All that grease is like napalm to the heart. High-fat diets and oversize portions add weight, which bombards the body with excess cholesterol. That cholesterol begins lining the arteries, causing a gradual narrowing, which damages the heart muscle, said Gerald DeVaughn, MD, a cardiologist and president of Cardiology Medical Associates in Philadelphia.
Heavy kids, heavy hearts
While fat-clogged arteries have traditionally been more of an adult issue, rates of obesity and high blood pressure among young people are also soaring, according to researchers at University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, where 20% of students studied were overweight or obese.
Terrified that he wouldn't live to see his kids grow up, Hale joined Weight Watchers, cut his portions, and upped his intake of fiber-rich foods.