Updated: Mar 10
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions – abdominal obesity (waist circumference of >102 cm in men & & >88 cm in women), high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol which together increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 2 -3 times & diabetes mellitus by 5 times.
The two most important causes of metabolic syndrome are increased body fat, particularly around the waist, and lack of physical activity. Other causes are certain genetic factors, unhealthy diet,
tobacco use & excess alcohol intake.
Almost one-quarter of the adult population in our country is at risk of developing Metabolic syndrome. Advancing age and women are at a higher risk of developing Metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is more prevalent in upper socioeconomic classes, probably due to their sedentary lifestyle.
Prevention of Metabolic syndrome involves adequate physical activity & a healthy diet.
Physical activity recommendations: Do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day like walking for 2 – 3 km. Muscle strengthening exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, and squats 2 -3 days in a week. Gentle stretching exercises or yoga should be done before & after these exercises every day. Simple lifestyle changes should be made like taking the stairs instead of the lift and walking instead of using an automobile.
Dietary recommendations: Eat a diet that has calories as per the requirement based on age, gender & type of daily physical activity. Fats should comprise < 20% of the daily calorie requirement. Salt intake should be <5 grams/day. The diet should include whole grains, pulses, millet, fresh vegetables & fruits. Should avoid intake of fried & sugared foodstuffs.