01 August 2008

A high waist circumference can be one sign of a condition called Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome often progresses to type 2 diabetes—and treating the syndrome can help prevent this form of diabetes.

A person has Metabolic Syndrome if they have at least 3 of the 5 conditions below. If you think you may have Metabolic Syndrome, it is important to discuss the possibility with your doctor so that you can undergo the appropriate diagnostic tests.

Treatments for Metabolic Syndrome involve basic lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating a healthier diet, and increasing your activity level.

More Information on Metabolic Syndrome

ConditionTreatment: Lifestyle ChangesPractical Suggestions
Abdominal obesity (measured by waist circumference)
Men: > 40 inches
Women: > 35 inches
Weight loss
Increased physical activity
Cut 250 calories a day; lose 1/2 pound a week; aim for losing 20 pounds in a year
30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week
High blood pressure
130/85 mm Hg or greater
Weight loss
Reduced salt intake
More fruits and vegetables
Low-fat dairy products
Aim for 20-pound loss/year
Salt shaker off the table; no salt when cooking
Get at least 5 servings/day
Get 3 glasses of skim milk, low-fat yogurt, cheese/day
Low HDL (good) cholesterol
Men: less than 40 mg/dL
Women: less than 50 mg/dL
Stop smoking
Weight loss
Increased physical activity
Cut carbohydrates, eat more monounsaturated fats
Aim for 20-pound loss/year
30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week
Replace cookies, candy, cakes with unsalted almonds, walnuts, peanuts
High triglycerides level
150 mg/dL or greater
Weight loss
Reduce simple carbohydrates
Limit alcohol
Raise omega-3 fatty acids Aim for 20-pound loss/year
Replace soda, juices with seltzer, water, diet soda
Limit: 2 drinks/day for men; 1 drink/day for women
Eat fish twice/week
High blood sugar after fasting
110 mg/dL or greater
Weight loss
Increase soluble fiber
Aim for 20-pound loss/year
Replace white bread with brown bread, whole grains, cereals


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