American scientists are warning that metabolic syndrome is the new “silent killer” among people at risk of type 2 diabetes.
Metabolic syndromen, which affects up to 15 million people in the UK, is a collection of symptoms including obesity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and abnormal cholesterol.
As well as increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome can also elevate the risk of complications such as heart disease and stroke.
Now researchers from Florida Atlantic University are voicing major concerns about the dramatic impact metabolic syndrome is having on public health and are calling for people to become more active to avoid it.
The study team suggest it could be as serious as hypertension – abnormally high blood pressure – was in the 1970s, when increased salt consumptions led to soaring numbers of the condition.
Writing in an article published by the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, they added their concern that metabolic syndrome sometimes carried no symptoms and therefore people were not being diagnosed and treated for it.

Study author Professor Charles Hennekens said: “The major factor accelerating the pathway to metabolic syndrome is being overweight and obesity. Obesity is overtaking smoking as the leading avoidable cause of premature death in the US and worldwide.
“Unfortunately, most people prefer prescription of pills to proscription of harmful lifestyles. The totality of evidence indicates that weight loss of five per cent or more of body weight combined with a brisk walk for 20 or more minutes daily will significantly reduce cardiovascular events and deaths.”
Professor Hennekens alongside fellow authors Dr Dawn Sherling and Dr Parvathi Perumareddi concluded that people should strive for a waistline of less than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women. They also suggested a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) should be between 18.5 and 24.9 for adults.
Dr Perumareddi added: “The pandemic of obesity, which begins in childhood, is deeply concerning. Adolescents today are more obese and less physically active than their parents and already have higher rates of type 2 diabetes.”
Eating healthily is critical in preventing obesity and keeping to a healthy weight, and the Low Carb Program can help people make simple diet changes to improve their health. After six months, users lose an average body weight of 10kg and reduce their waistline by 3.7 inches.

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