Friday, January 27, 2012

Lifestyle Diseases 15: Preventing Metabolic Syndrome

Another good article from a cardiologist-friend, also volunteer consultant to the DOH on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Dr. Tony Leachon. Healthcare is first and foremost personal and parental/guardian responsibility, not government's. Especially for lifestyle-related diseases where people simply over-smoke, over-eat, over-eat and/or over-sit, and they later get various types of diseases like hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, lung/liver/throat/other types of cancer.

Let us guard our own health and that of our households, family and friends. And let us demand less government intervention in healthcare, like more drug price control, more free or highly subsidized medicines for NCDs, more taxes for bigger health subsidies, etc. Let government's intervention in healthcare be limited to infectious diseases, pediatric diseases, and support for people with mental and physical defect.

Metabolic Syndrome: Losing Weight is Key

Anthony C. Leachon, M.D.

The metabolic syndrome is a constellation of 5 risk factors that are associated with increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD.. One must have at least three metabolic risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
• Large waistline. This also is called abdominal obesity or "having an apple shape." Excess fat in the stomach area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
• High triglyceride
• Low HDL cholesterol level
• Hypertension
• Diabetes Mellitus

The risk of having metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight and obesity and a lack of physical activity. We are in a period where there are more adults die than children, more people are obese than undernourished and more people live in cities than in rural areas.

Waist circumference should be the target of intervention in obese individuals.
Despres et al in 2001 stressed that intervention should aim for a modest reduction of 5% - 10% of initial body weight.

This has been shown to lead to marked reductions in blood pressure susceptibility, a marked improvement in the lipid profile and in insulin sensitivity, as well as improvements in other thrombotic factors and inflammatory markers.

So, just how do you become in control of your weight? The obvious answer is by controlling your diet. But, that answer only leads to another question. Just how does a person control their diet? It's this answer that is the key, and it can all be summed up with one single word... calories.Calories are everything. Let me repeat that. CALORIES ARE EVERYTHING.

Weight control is all about calories. Nothing else comes close. This is not a gimmick or a diet fad either. This is the proven science of the human body. Weight control is all about the battle between calories in and calories out. If they are both equal to each other, your weight will stay exactly the same. But, if one is higher than the other, your weight will change.If you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight. And, if you both burn and consume the same amount of calories, your weight stays the same.

Obesity has been a great challenge in the modern world. After almost two decades, the USDA food pyramid is history. US First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled last Nov 2011, the USDA's update on America's visual nutrition guide, replacing the familiar - and much maligned - pyramid with a plate.

The new design incorporates seven key dietary messages:

- Enjoy your food, but eat less
- Avoid oversized portions
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals.
It is possible to prevent or delay metabolic syndrome, mainly with lifestyle changes. A healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment. Successfully controlling metabolic syndrome requires long-term effort and teamwork with your health care providers.

See also:
Lifestyle Diseases 8: WHO and the NCDs, December 08, 2011
Lifestyle Diseases 9: Overeating and Food Poisoning, December 24, 2011
Lifestyle Diseases 10: Financing Healthcare vs NCDs, December 30, 2011
Lifestyle Diseases 11: Obesity and Cancer, January 08, 2012
Lifestyle Diseases 12: On Fat Filipinos, January 17, 2012
Lifestyle Diseases 13: Curbing and Preventing NCDs, January 17, 2012
Lifestyle Diseases 14: Transformative Education on Health, January 18, 2012

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