What is Obesity?
Obesity is an excess of body fat. There are many ways that this is classified or diagnosed. BMI (), waist circumference (usually over ), waist to hip ratio (about 0.9), or even % body fat. As many have heard in the new obesity is sadly becoming extremely common in the US. The prevalence and detrimental effects have increased so much that very soon obesity will overtake smoking as the biggest risk to our health in America.
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a breakdown in the way we optimally intake, process and store energy. It is diagnosed by the presence of at least 3 of the following conditions: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, and low HDL (good cholesterol).
How can these be related?
All of the above conditions are directly or indirectly related to diet and activity. Abdominal obesity is defined by being overweight. Blood pressure has also been directly correlated with weight with some studies showing a loss of 1 kilogram linked to a decrease of 1mm blood pressure. High blood sugar has been shown to be linked with diet and activity through multiple pathways. Not only do these similar diets with processed sugars relate to sugar levels but also are directly related to higher triglyceride levels. Finally HDL (good cholesterol levels) have been shown to go up or down depending mostly regular exercise.
If these are all related and build upon each other is it possible to break this cycle?
The bottom line is that all of the diagnosing factors of metabolic syndrome are closely related to diet and exercise. This is good news, lifestyle change can help! This is not a simple one dimensional ‘quick fix’ though. You need a program that is sustainable and can address all of these risk factors. There is no single magic pill or diet. If an infomercial product could actually work to reverse our poor health Americans would not be still in the state that we are.
What does Men’s Health Center offer that is different than a diet, a gym or taking medicine?
Because of the complexity and relationship of these it is most effective to find a lifestyle that can slowly direct your body to becoming healthy. This involves knowledge and diet and nutrition as well as a change that is sustainable. People need a safe and enjoyable exercise program which can be medically monitored. Communication with one’s primary physician and continued evaluation of medical issues is also important to adjusting and personalizing the process for each individual.
Is becoming healthier actually any better than close medical management of my blood pressure and diabetes?
This is an interesting question. What is interesting is that all of our medical knowledge and studies may show close correlation to death and heart disease. However it is almost impossible to be able to show causation. Wearing large pants is associated with obesity but large pants do not cause obesity, and making obese people wear small pants does not reverse the obesity. Meaning although we have come up with great advances to treat our risk factors for heart disease (lower our blood pressure, manage our diabetes, etc. ) we are still not able to reverse or stop the causes or our poor health with medications. Improving our health, changing the underlying causes are the only way to do this.