The number of people with high cholesterol is increasing as the UK's obesity epidemic worsens, a national charity has said.
Denise Armstrong, lifestyle manager at Heart Research UK, revealed that the majority of cases of high cholesterol are due to people's diet.
"It [cholesterol] is an increasing problem and it's made worse by the obesity epidemic," she claimed.
"The problem with obesity is that it leads to a number of things happening in the body, but one of them is raised cholesterol level," the expert continued.
"Also, when we start putting weight on around our middle, we are susceptible to intra-abdominal visceral fat and that type of fat is on the inside of the abdomen wall and it metabolises with the liver and effects the lipids in the blood. This can increase not only the cholesterol levels in the blood, but also heart disease and raised blood pressure."
Because the majority of a person's cholesterol is manufactured inside the body rather than obtained from the diet, Ms Armstrong recommends eating a cholesterol-lowering diet rather than one that is intrinsically low in cholesterol.
She concluded: "The main way of reducing cholesterol levels is reducing the amount of saturated fat in the diet."