Recent data from Australia and the U.S. suggest that 25% adults in each may have the metabolic syndrome.
What is metabolic syndrome? It had 6 definitions, beginning with WHO in 1999, but now there is a consensus metabolic syndrome definition. It is central obesity (more like an apple than a pear–waist of 40 inches (94 cm) for Caucasian men and 35 inches (80 cm) for women, with ethnic-specific levels in Chinese, Japanese and South Asians; and 2 of the following:
*high triglycerides of at 150 mg/dL;
*low HDL-cholesterol, of less than 40 mg/dL in men and 50 mg/dL in women;
*higher blood pressure (130/85 mm Hg or higher); and
*a high fasting blood sugar (over 100mg/dL), or previous diagnosis of diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.
That’s a mouthful, but it’s not filling: insurance companies may begin to pay for treatment for metabolic syndrome, because effective treatment can prevent diabetes (excellent resources here), prevent high blood pressure, and reduce the risk for heart attack, stroke, impotence, premature wrinkling and memory loss.
Do you have metabolic syndrome? Measure your waist correctly. Get a blood test for a cholesterol panel, at home if you like. Most of all, know the facts: you can control how you age with your choices, and using food-as-medicine is one of the best to make now.