Even an extra 10 pounds could raise blood pressure

Posted at 4:54 PM, Sep 11, 2014

Vacations, holidays and even a bad breakup can add a few pounds to your waistline, but according to a new study, just a bit of weight can actually play a role in your blood pressure.

A preliminary study presented to the American Heart Association says gaining just 5 pounds can increase your blood pressure, although it does not seem to affect cholesterol, insulin or blood sugar levels.

The author of the study told the American Heart Association, "Our research suggests that healthy people who are more likely to gain weight in the stomach area are also more likely to have their blood pressure increased."

To conduct the study, researchers fed 16 healthy adults a generous meal with dessert — or in other words, an extra 400-1,200 calories each day. The goal was to raise participants' weight by 5 percent. They took participants' blood pressure before and after those eight weeks.

They compared the results from those on the new diet to 10 healthy adults who maintained their weight over the eight weeks. The study concluded those who gained an extra 5-11 pounds pushed their systolic blood pressure — the higher number in a reading — on average from 114 to 118. 

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