Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors -- high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol levels, and belly fat -- that increases risk of heart disease and diabetes. Diet, exercise, and medications improve it.
Given how common metabolic syndrome is -- it's estimated that one out of four people meet the criteria -- everyone should be worried about their risk factors. After all, metabolic syndrome can dramatically increase your risk of serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes -- yet often people don't even know what it is.
Metabolic syndrome is generally defined as a cluster of risk factors, including high blood sugar, extra abdominal fat, high blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol levels.