Heart disease is a collection of separate conditions affecting the heart. So, when we talk about heart disease we are not really specifying the condition or the underlying pathology. It encompasses diseases such as coronary artery disease, which is narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle itself usually secondary to atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, ischemic heart disease where there is an insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle usually secondary to coronary artery disease.

It also includes heart failure which is where the heart is unable to pump the blood around the body efficiently and there are number of reasons why this occurs. We also talk about valve disease - diseases of the heart valves in particular the mitral and aortic valves.

The treatment of heart disease of course depends upon the underlying condition. Importantly most of these conditions are exacerbated by being overweight or obese and the important ones by far, due to its prevalence, is coronary artery disease and ischemic heart disease. These latter conditions are two of the commonest causes of significant morbidity and mortality within individuals and because of the association with obesity it is absolute imperative if we are going to reduce the incidence of these disease and allow people to live happy healthy longer lives, then we need to address obesity itself.