Are Blood Pressure Medications Making the Obesity Epidemic Worse?

A number of studies suggest that beta-blockers, one of the most common medications for high blood pressure, increase a patient’s obesity risk in a number of ways.

It is already established that one of the side effects of beta-blockers is weight gain. This is most common with older beta-blockers such as atenolol and metoprolol. More recent beta-blockers such as carvedilol are not as prone to cause weight gain. A drug that can cause weight gain puts patients at a higher risk for obesity.

There are a couple of factors that may be the reason why these drugs are linked to weight gain. In a study of 30 patients, it was found that those who were taking a beta-blocker burned fewer calories after a meal than those who were not taking that medication. The less calories you burn, the more that are left for your body to convert to fat.

Also, studies show that those who take beta-blockers are less physically active than the general population. One of the reasons for this may be that the beta-blockers lower the heart rate and can cause people taking them to become fatigued more easily. When people are easily fatigued, it can be challenging to get an optimum amount of physical activity. Being physically active is a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy weight.

With the rising obesity levels in Albany, Georgia as well as countless other areas, obesity and its related health issues is a public health matter. With this in mind, it is important to consider whether blood pressure medicines and other medications linked to weight gain may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.

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