Only 1 In 8 People Have Good Metabolic Health

Only 1 in 8 have good metabolic health

Research Paper: Metabolic Health

Despite the fact that we are all living longer, our overall health appears to be declining.

In Australia for example, 67% of adults are overweight or obese (an increase from 63% in 2014-15)1 and 47% of Australians have one or more chronic conditions (an increase over the last decade from 42%)2.

Many of these worsening chronic conditions are caused by metabolic dysfunction and our declining metabolic health.

To have good metabolic health your blood sugar, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference will all be at ideal levels and not managed with medication. 

All of these factors directly relate to a person’s risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. If you score well on the five measures, you are more likely to have a high degree of health and are at a lower risk of developing serious diseases.

If metabolic health is compromised, this is known as metabolic syndrome.

Specifically, Metabolic Syndrome is characterised as having at least three of those symptoms i.e. high triglyceride levels (body fat), increased waist circumference, hypertension (blood pressure), low levels of HDL cholesterol, and elevated fasting glucose.

Metabolic syndrome is linked to a higher risk of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases.

A 2008 study (citation below) published in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders journal concluded the;

Prevalence of metabolic health in American adults is alarmingly low, even in normal weight individuals. The large number of people not achieving optimal levels of risk factors, even in low-risk groups, has serious implications for public health.

The study found only one in eight Americans have optimal metabolic health – or just 12% of the population. The remaining 88% are at an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

Improving individual and collective health is important now more than ever.

Hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are common comorbidities that signify worse outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A recent study shows patients with metabolic syndrome had significantly worse hospitalisation and mortality rates due to COVID-193.

Metabolic health can be improved through simple and consistent choices – here are 7 easy steps for building immunity and improving metabolic health.

Citation: Araújo J, Cai J, Stevens J. Prevalence of Optimal Metabolic Health in American Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009–2016. Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders [Internet]. 2019 Feb [cited 2022 Jul 20];(1):46–52. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/met.2018.0105

Other references:

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017-18), Overweight and obesity, ABS Website, accessed 26 September 2022.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017-18), Chronic conditions, ABS Website, accessed 26 September 2022.
  3. Shannon Wu, Keren Zhou, Anita Misra-Hebert, James Bena, and Sangeeta R. Kashyap.Impact of Metabolic Syndrome on Severity of COVID-19 Illness.Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders.May 2022.191-198.http://doi.org/10.1089/met.2021.0102
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