For someone being obese, health problem risks are greatly elevated. The extra weight can cause physical problems like bone and joint problems. And things like diabetes, heart disease, cancers and other serious conditions are more likely to occur. For those who are being obese, health problem risks often center around a condition known as metabolic syndrome.
For someone being obese, heath problem risks are generally directly tied to this syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is just a term for a cluster of conditions that tend to occur together. The presence of these conditions is a pretty good indicator about future health.
For instance, someone with metabolic syndrome is going to have a much higher chance of heart disease, stroke or diabetes than someone who doesn’t have the condition. For people who have one or two of the conditions that make up metabolic syndrome, their risk of these serious diseases is still a little less than someone with a full-on case.
The conditions that are generally present in metabolic syndrome include:
• Obesity. People with metabolic syndrome are generally obese, often with much of their body fat centered in their stomach, giving them an “apple” shape.
• High blood triglycerides (fat).
• High blood pressure.
• Low HDL cholesterol levels. This is high-density lipoprotein, also known as the “good” cholesterol. Having a low good cholesterol level has been found to be more dangerous. than having a high “bad” cholesterol, or LDL (low-density lipoprotein) level.
• Insulin resistance.
A person can have one or two of those conditions without having metabolic syndrome. But their risks for developing the other conditions is very high. In fact, having just one of the conditions listed above makes it very likely that you’ll develop the others.
Being obese, health problem risks are elevated, but there are some factors in metabolic syndrome that a person can’t control. A family history of diabetes, for instance, puts a person at greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Age and race are also factors. Asians and Hispanics tend to develop metabolic syndrome at a greater rate than other races. And the older a person gets, the greater the risk of developing the syndrome.
But for the most part, the conditions that make up the syndrome and the syndrome itself are preventable. And there are no special drugs or treatments required to prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome.
The first recommendation, whether you want to prevent the syndrome or reverse it, is to eat a healthy diet. Choose whole foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables and avoid carb-laden, starchy processed foods. Don’t drink sodas or other sugar-rich beverages, but opt for water instead.
The next step is to get some exercise. Walk for a half an hour or so each day. That’s all it takes. This along with a healthy diet can help you lose weight, the third thing to do to defeat metabolic syndrome. Being obese, health problem risks including that of metabolic syndrome are elevated if you smoke, so quit smoking and you’ll be on your way to preventing or reversing the disease.