Blood Pressure and Obesity

Are you tired of taking blood pressure medicine one or more times a day? Is it possible to turn back the clock to a time when you didn’t have to take blood pressure medication? Here is some good news – losing weight can help reduce your high blood pressure.

Obesity is directly linked to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

This is because obesity:

  • Increases sodium retention.
  • Increases arterial pressure.
  • Increases norepinephrine – Norepinephrine is similar to adrenaline; it constricts blood vessels, which causes blood pressure to rise.
  • Increases angiotensin II levels – Angiotensin II causes blood vessels to constrict, which causes blood pressure to rise.
  • Increases damage to nephrons (the functional units of the kidneys) – Damage to nephrons causes blood pressure to rise.

People who lose 5 to 10 percent of their baseline body weight will experience, on average, a 10 mm Hg decrease in their systolic blood pressure (the bottom number).

With proper medical guidance, you can experience the health benefits that result from returning to a healthy weight.


Hu, F. et al. 2008. Obesity Epidemiology. Harvard School of Public Health, Oxford Press.

Pasanisi F et al. Benefits of Sustained Weight Moderate Weight Loss in obesity. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc dis 2001:11(6)401-406

Jensen, MD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the ACC/AHA task force on practice guidelines; Circulation. 2014:129(suppl 2); S201-S138.

Weight Management: Pathways to Improving Your Health

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