People with any three of ﬁve common symptoms – high blood pressure, high blood sugar, large waist circumference, low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides – are said to have Metabolic Syndrome, a condition associated with many health risks, including diabetes and heart disease. Because Metabolic Syndrome usually leads to serious disease, researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School set out to design a lifestyle program to combat Metabolic Syndrome. 126 obese over-50 adults with Metabolic Syndrome followed a program consisting of 12 weekly ninety-minute sessions, evenly divided between exercise and nutrition education focusing on the Mediterranean Diet. At the end of the program, patients had lost on average 6.2kg (13.6 lbs), with signiﬁcant reductions in waist circumference, body fat, blood pressure, triglycerides, and depression. About 20% of those ﬁnishing the program no longer had Metabolic Syndrome, and 42% had lost at least one symptom, thanks to the Med Diet and exercise.
Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, July 4, 2011 [Epub ahead of print]