It's important to maintain a healthy weight because it lessens the possibility of stroke, heart disease and joint issues. Heredity does play a role in all of these health issues, but maintaining or loosing significant amounts of weight generally lowers blood pressure, which is a primary cause of heart attacks and strokes. Extra weight also puts more stress on an individual's joints; especially the hip and knee joints. A healthy weight can be achieved by following a sensible diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. "Empty calories" such as the refined carbohydrates found in baked goods and candy should only be consumed in extreme moderation.