Call it a silent epidemic. An estimated one in four adults is afflicted with the condition known as metabolic syndrome, and many of them don't even know it.
Obesity and lack of exercise are key components of this dangerous condition, which puts you at risk of developing serious health problems. That makes metabolic syndrome yet another reason to adopt healthier eating and exercise habits.
The risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome -- unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess belly fat -- raise your odds of serious health problems. These include diabetes and blood vessel or heart disease.
Specifically, metabolic syndrome can lead to arteriosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries." This is when fats, cholesterol, and other substances stick to the sides of the arteries. The arteries then become clogged and brittle. Blood clots form when the...
Overweight people tend to develop a resistance to insulin -- a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, pushing sugar into the body's cells, where it is used for energy. When you're resistant to insulin, blood sugar isn't effectively delivered into the cells. That leads to high blood-sugar levels in the bloodstream, which is one of the symptoms (and causes) of type 2 diabetes.