What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

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Metabolic syndrome is a prevalent illness that is negatively impacting the health of individuals around the world. This prevalence is due to a rise in the rates of adult obesity, and is resulting in excess mortality due to an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes.1,3 It is defined as a cluster of conditions that occur together, which increases the individual’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.2 Metabolic risk factors responsible for this syndrome include having a large waistline, a high triglyceride level, a low HDL cholesterol level, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar.1 Three of these risk factors must be present in order to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, with the
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measured the dietary and physical activity habits of 130 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and compared them to BMI-, age-, sex-, and racially-matched controls.3 Individuals with schizophrenia were shown to have significantly higher levels of glycosylated hemoglobin and insulin, and had an increased waist circumference and diastolic blood pressure than did the comparison group.3 Although daily energy intake was not different between groups, individuals with schizophrenia consumed significantly greater amounts of sugar and fat, and reported less moderate physical activity than the comparison group.3
Approximately 70-75% of patients with schizophrenia can be classified as being physically inactive, and do not meet the minimal physical activity recommendations.6 Factors that contribute to this populations’ sedentary lifestyle include the negative symptoms associated with this illness, as well as the sedating effects antipsychotic medications.3 Poor dietary choices are related to lower socioeconomic status (SES) and cognitive deficits.3 Fresh produce and healthier food options can be expensive, therefore individuals of a low SES opt towards premade processed foods that are more affordable. Many
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