Obesity may be the No. 1 dietary risk factor for heart disease in America, reports the Nutri/System Health & Fitness Information Bureau.

In a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Scott M. Grundy of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center emphasized obesity's role as an underlying factor for such established cardiovascular health risks as elevated "bad" cholesterol levels, decreased "good" cholesterol levels, hypertension and diabetes. He put weight control at "the head of the list" of dietary strategies for reducing heart disease risk."As the No. 1 dietary risk factor for the nation's No. 1 killer, obesity is being increasingly recognized by health professionals and the general public as a serious health threat that cannot be ignored," said Dr. Stuart H. Shapiro, senior vice president of health and scientific affairs, national medical director and chairman of the Nutri/System National Health Sciences Advisory Board.